By Anthony J. Domino, Jr., CLU, ChFC, MSFS, and Howard
Rosenfeld, MAAA, MSPA, EA
Reviewed by Gary W. Silverman, CFP®
Overall, The 401(k) Advisor is a well-written, easy-to-understand book. It is filled with examples to explain many concepts. These include how 401(k)s and PSPs can be used together, how Social Security integration affects contribution allocation in PSPs, and the tax advantages of 401(k)s. The book has a good description of discrimination and safe harbor rules (though nothing can truly eliminate the IRS-designed confusion). There is even a chapter on running an enrollment meeting.
The book has a mini-asset allocation section. It is pretty basic and not useful for most advisors. The section would have merit if the book were loaned to a business-owner client. But since The 401(k) Advisor also has a chapter on marketing, it is not likely you'd want to loan it out. Instead of the space being used for asset allocations, I would rather have seen a chapter on selecting, managing, and changing administrators.
The authors are Anthony Domino, Jr. and Howard Rosenfeld. Anthony is the president of Associated Benefit Consultants LLC. He is also the president of the 22,000-member Society of Financial Service Professionals. Anthony's specialty is the planning problems facing family-owned businesses. Howard Rosenfeld is president of Rosenfeld/Tortu Retirement Planning Inc. I mention these authors specifically to show that their background is "in the trenches" of dealing with businesses and their retirement planning needs on a daily basis. That's what keeps this book fresh and inviting rather than being an academic tome.
While I do recommend this book overall, only one page of data is given concerning the new Roth IRA features. This was necessary due to the legislation being in a quandary at press time. It's hard to write about rules and regulations that are not yet finalized. Unfortunately, this does make the book less than complete as of 2006. I would have liked to have seen reference to a Web page where the current developments in this area could have been presented and updated.
Still, this book would be a good fit for someone getting started in the retirement benefits area or who only occasionally deals with such and needs an easy-to-use reference tool.
Gary W. Silverman, CFP®, owns a fee-only financial planning firm in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is the host of the television show Falls Informer, editor of the financial newsletter Personal Money Planning, and a frequent contributor to the print and broadcast media. He also teaches university courses in finance and management.
National Underwriter Company, Cincinnati, 2005