Helping clients be more realistic about their investing horizon

Pontera is continuing its growth with yet another partnership with a large wealth management firm.

The fintech company, which lets financial advisors manage assets in held-away retirement accounts, announced a deal Wednesday with Summit Financial Holdings, a firm for breakaway advisors with $9 billion in assets under advisement. Advisors affiliated with Summit will be able use Pontera to analyze, rebalance and monitor assets held in a client’s workplace 401(k) or 403(b) plan, as well as bill on the services provided.

The ability to see how a client’s 401(k) is allocated can help have better, more realistic conversations about their investing horizon, said Greg Nardolillo, founder of WealthPlan Advantage, a firm with $200 million assets under management that has been with Summit for two years. And by already knowing the rest of a client’s financial life, advisors can use Pontera recommend better allocations for the retirement account than clients are likely to make on their own, he said.

“We can see all of the investment options and use our own unique investment philosophy and strategy to then create a well-diversified allocation,” Nardolillo said.

For example, while most plan providers recommend target-date funds that increase bond exposure as investors age, Nardolillo plans to direct clients, where appropriate, toward more equities to maximize the return.

In the past, clients who wanted help with their retirement accounts would have to manually send over what options were available, and Nardolillo would have to walk the client through how to change their allocations. He’d be able to link to some accounts using eMoney to at least view the assets, but clients would have to enact Nardolillo’s recommendations themselves, which meant his firm couldn’t bill on it.

For clients who have invested more in their retirement account than anywhere else, this means a huge portion of their financial life is simply off-limits, Nardolillo said.

With Pontera, advisors can go directly into the platform for a deep dive into the options available, create a portfolio that suits them and bill on the services provided.

“Pontera gives us this wonderful platform to provide our services around 401(k) and then get paid our management fee,” he said, adding that he plans to make retirement plan advice a larger part of his business.

“Ultimately the people who are going to benefit the most from this are the 401(k) account holders,” Nardolillo said. “They’re going to end up doing way better than sticking it in a target-date fund or getting confused at the watercooler and making poor choices.”

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