I don’t get niche 401(k) plans

When I grew up, we had one type of Cheerios and when they added Honey Nut Cheerios, we had two. I think if you go to the grocery shelves, you may have 20 today. This was General Mills appealing to a marketplace to sell more Cheerios by offering so many varieties.

401(k) plans aren’t boxes of cereal. I don’t see the need to sell a 401(k) plan that has a niche investment focus because I believe that the best 401(k) plans offer plan participants a wide breadth of plan investments, as long as they don’t offer too many investment options.

Recently, an investment advisor focused on solving climate change, has decided to introduce a climate-focused 401(k) plan for employers. As an Exxon-Mobil shareholder who first started buying that stock in April 2020and the proud owner of a 2012 Toyota Prius V, I don’t understand why an employer would be interested in a 401(k) plan that was limited in its investing options. Plan sponsors are plan fiduciaries, I think narrowing the investment options within a 401(k) plan makes no sense because you’re cutting participants off from sectors that could lead to top investment growth over time.

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