Buy? Sell? 401(k) Help Gets Specific Wall Street Journal (10/09/02) p.D11; Lauricella, Tom
Following the approval last year by the Labor Department of American International Group unit Sun America's plan to make retirement advice generated by a third party firm available to retirees, Merrill Lynch is expected to announce a similar move. The concept, previously thought taboo because of conflict of interest issues, is becoming more popular among brokerage firms as a way of fortifying customer relationships and generating more business with 401(k) participants. Merrill's program, which will be tested before being rolled out some time next year, will use investment data generated by a third-party firm, Ibbotson Associates, to make buy or sell recommendations to investors and generate specific recommendations based on investors' specific information.