Some experts are predicting that there will be fewer advisers focused on the 401(k)/defined contribution market. With greater competition, price pressure, more onerous regulations and increased fiduciary liability, that argument is understandable. But regardless of the pressure and challenges that the DC market poses, the number of elite advisers that focus on the DC market will double in the next five years because of the size of the opportunity.
There are roughly 300,000 actively engaged financial advisers serving the public - 50% or 150,000 advise on one or more DC plans. Half, or 75,000 advisers, have three or more plans, while 15,000, or 5% of the market, have five or more plans. Only 5,000 advisers, or less than 2%, are considered "elite" - having at least 10 plans, $30 million and three year's experience. There is a sub-group of "super elites" with 25 plans or more than $100 million. Of the 625,000 DC plans with between $250,000 and $100 million in assets, only 125,000, or 20%, are advised by advisers with at least five plans under management - the rest either do not have an adviser or use what is called a "blind squirrel."
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