Jennifer Daknis will never forget her introduction to the world of 401(k)s. Fresh out of college and starting a new job, she was handed a thick envelope and told to pick out some investments. Naturally, she did what too many 401(k) participants do. She called a friend and asked her what investments she chose.
Forget the fact that the friend worked for a different company, had different investment choices, and was much older than she was, Daknis figured any advice was better than trying to figure out the complicated information packet on her own.
“When I asked her how she had made her selection, she told me she just used what someone else at work had done,” Daknis laughs.
Even then, she knew there had to be a better way for people to make some of the most important financial decisions of their lives, and when she became a financial advisor she was determined to find it. Six years ago she joined MICG Investment Advisors in Newport News, Virginia, and was given free rein over the firm’s 401(k) business. Since then, she has gone from working with half a dozen retirement accounts to nearly 80.
Her first meeting with every prospect focuses on setting expectations–her expectations. She wants regular meetings with the trustee to make sure they have the right plan in place and to ensure that the plan continues to meet the needs of the company and its employees.
It’s a time-consuming process. Since MICG doesn’t have its own retirement plan platform, Daknis researches the one that best suits each plan sponsor. When choosing a platform, she looks beyond the investment choices and digs into the type of service they provide to the employer, the participants, and the advisor.