Dental Continuing Education: The Dental 401(k) Plan by Mitchell Tuchman

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Dentaltown Magazine

Keep your best people while lowering costs and risks

by Mitchell Tuchman

Modern 401(k) plans that are a dramatic improvement of past plans have emerged in recent years. These improvements come in the form of reduced fees, higher returns, better risk management and reporting, and valuable educational services for employees and owner/operators.
This article will highlight important questions to ask your current 401(k) provider to ensure that you are mitigating fiduciary risk and paying a fair amount for your service, and that your investment vehicles are suitable for your employees and the owner/operator’s financial goals.

Course description
This article details how dental practice owners can implement and manage a best-of-breed 401(k) plan. This includes methods to achieve lower costs and better returns, and how to reduce personal legal risk for the dental owner/operator.
Fees and returns are the primary way many business owners measure the worthiness of a 401(k) plan. Often, however, trust in the recommendations of a family member, close friend or longtime professional relationship affects how one chooses a 401(k) provider—for better or worse.
While fees and returns are important, there are many additional issues related to 401(k) management that small business owners, including dentists, are generally unaware of. To run a truly successful 401(k) plan, it is important to consider a number of lesser-known risk factors that can leave dentists out of pocket and liable to lawsuits.

Educational objectives
Upon reading this article, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand the impact of high fees, which fees are reasonable and the effect of compounding.
  2. Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of different investment vehicles.
  3. Understand the meaning of the term fiduciary and recognize who acts as the fiduciary on a 401(k) plan.
  4. Understand the risks that practice owners face when acting as the fiduciary on their own 401(k) plan.

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Author Bio
Author Mitchell Tuchman is a managing director at Rebalance and serves as the firm’s chief investment officer. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is a frequent guest on CNBC, PBS/WealthTrack with Consuelo Mack and CNN. Tuchman is regularly featured in major financial publications, including The New York Times, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. He is also a regular contributor to MarketWatch. Email:
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