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401(k) Fees, Online Broker Regulation: News for Financial Advisers

The latest for financial advisers: Many savers are oblivious of 401(k) fees, plenty of parents are clueless about the cost of college, regulation of online brokers, and more.

A roundup of the latest news and reports of interest to financial advisers.

DOL should take cue from other nations to clear up 401(k) fees, GAO says: Only about a third of U.S. savers are even aware that they pay fees on their retirement plans, a new report from the GAO found.

Death of 60/40 model boosts interest in alts: The low-interest-rate environment is undermining the 60/40 model and stoking retail investors’ interest in alts, says Milind Mehere, CEO of YieldStreet, an alternative investment platform.

SEC hints at tougher regulation of online brokers: The agency issued a wide-ranging request for comment on how online brokerages use game-like features and other tools to attract investors, according to InvestmentNews.

UBS, State Street among firms whose green funds fall short: More than half the climate-themed funds reviewed by a nonprofit failed to live up to the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement, while just over 70% of funds promising ESG goals fell short, according to InvestmentNews.

Many parents still clueless about college costs: New research from Fidelity shows many parents of high school students still underestimate the price tag for college, but that gives advisers an opportunity to educate parents and help them plan, says Ron Hazel, vice president at Fidelity.

Bridging the gap between stocks and bonds: Halo Investing is democratizing access to structured notes, which are bank obligations, by selling them in amounts as small as $1,000, says Halo President Jason Barsema.

How crypto is attracting millennial millionaires to financial advice: SALT conference panelists say millennials' heightened interest in crypto investing comes amid the largest generational transfer of wealth, according to InvestmentNews.

J.P. Morgan cuts off sales charges in 529 plans: The company's decision is in line with overall trends toward fee-based compensation but also hints at the influence of the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest on the 529 plan market, according to InvestmentNews.

Lawsuit over 401(k) fees, active target-date series fails: Comparing actively managed funds on the plan menu to index funds that were available was not an ideal comparison, according to the court, according to InvestmentNews.

VanEck launches first sustainable muni ETF: Municipal bond exchange-traded funds have attracted a record amount of cash this year as investors try to shield income from potentially higher levies under the Biden administration, according to InvestmentNews.

NYSE develops asset class tied to sustainability amid ESG push: The New York Stock Exchange is helping develop a new class of publicly traded assets tied to services that are beneficial to the environment, amid a boom in demand for sustainable investments, according to FinancialPlanning.