- Review: SaveDay
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SaveDay was launched in February of this year and is based in New York City. Their goal is to make setting up and running a 401(k) as easy and seamless as possible for small businesses. They use technology to make low-cost retirement plans available to smaller employers that are superior to plans available to much bigger companies.
According to SaveDay CEO Ayman Abukhater, “We tried to reduce the complexity of onboarding the employer, of onboarding the employee, creating a simple interface for them to plan their retirement and target how much they need, and from there make recommendations for them to decide how much to contribute.
What Is SaveDay?
Essentially, SaveDay is a “robo 401(k)” for small businesses. Their most basic benefit is what they describe as the “most complete and lowest-cost solution for small companies and their employees to plan, save and invest for retirement.” They handle all aspects of 401(k) management, while providing professional retirement investment management at minimal cost to employees.
Their goal is to make setting up and running a 401(k) as easy and seamless as possible for small businesses. They use technology to make low-cost retirement plans available to smaller employers that are superior to plans available to much bigger companies.
SaveDay uses an investment methodology that focuses on combining different assets in a portfolio to maximize estimated returns while reducing the level of risk. It is based on Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), which is based on the idea that investors can diversify a portfolio according to their risk appetite, to optimize expected return while lowering total risk.
Using MPT they combine different assets in a portfolio to create maximum returns for a given level of risk. Their methodology incorporates investment selection, capital market assumptions, asset allocation, determining your risk, and monitoring and rebalancing.
How Does SaveDay Work?
SaveDay guides the employer in setting up a fully functioning 401(k) plan. You can even “test drive the experience” first, then invite your employees to join.
Employees can be enrolled automatically, or they can sign up on their own. SaveDay uses a simple and quick on-boarding experience for employees. They then provide ongoing payroll instructions and regularly monitor and rebalance employee accounts, as well as provide regular reports and updates to both employer and employees.
SaveDay claims that by using their low-cost system to manage your 401(k) portfolio, you can save 27% more in your plan over a 30-year period. (See fee structure below under Features and Pricing.)
SaveDay manages small 401(k) plans for employers and also manages the employee accounts within the plan. That includes adding newly hired employees and removing terminated employees.
They process 401(k) contributions by offering seamless processing of payroll deductions. The system is capable of processing pre-tax, Roth and employer-matching contributions simultaneously. They can also integrate the system with outside payroll providers. Contribution limits will be monitored automatically, and the system provides reporting of all current and historical contributions.
For employees, SaveDay offers personalized investment recommendations. The employee first answers three questions, which are used to gauge their individual risk tolerance (more on that below). SaveDay then recommends a personalized, diversified and low-cost portfolio comprised entirely of exchange traded funds (ETFs). However, employees can also browse other portfolios and select investment options besides the one recommended for them.
Employees always have access to the Employee Dashboard. This presents a quick summary of account value, as well as portfolio performance and contributions. There are also interactive charts. SaveDay can do financial projections that will incorporate the employee’s bigger picture financial situation by including other investment accounts, savings and income. Employees will then be able to see if they are saving enough money for retirement, or if they need to take additional action to reach their goals.
Investment advice is actually provided from WealthyX, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. WealthyX provides automated investment management to SaveDay as a service for its clients. SaveDay then acts as a subadvisor, making recommendations and actively managing investment portfolios for 401(k) participants.
Securities within each portfolio are offered through Kapitall Generation LLC (“Kapgen”), a registered broker/dealer and member of FINRA.
Investments used — Your 401(k) portfolio is invested in the following asset classes: US stocks, international stocks, US bonds, international bonds, and US TIPS. All have corresponding ETFs with small tracking errors, high liquid/low expense ratios, and are managed by a reputable manager. WealthyX may add additional asset classes in the future as the ETF market continues to evolve.
Types of accounts available — SaveDay offers Traditional 401(k), Solo 401(k), SIMPLE 401(k), and Safe Harbor 401(k) plans. They do not manage other retirement plans, including IRAs.
Clearing agency — Your account is held with the Apex Clearing Corporation (“Apex”), which serves as the clearing agent and custodian.
Account protection — Kapgen and Apex are members of SIPC, which offers protection of up to $500,000 for cash and securities, including up to $250,000 in cash.
Annual fees/cost — SaveDay charges no monthly fees and no per-employee fees. There are also no plan setup and transfer fees and no charge for compliance for services such as nondiscrimination participant fees.
Total fees are 0.45%, comprised of an assets-under-management fee of 0.35% and an average investment fee of 0.10%.
Employee investment advice — Employees can receive free, high-quality, personalized advice in choosing the best investments. There are also free educational materials, including Investing Basics, Retirement Planning Videos and What-if Tools. SaveDay takes the guesswork out of 401(k) plan investing.
Customer service — SaveDay can be contacted by email, phone or live chat. I used a live chat line and found customer service to be responsive almost immediately. The individual I was chatting with (Aidan) was both courteous and knowledgeable and was able to address all of my questions thoroughly.
Personal portfolio determination — Like all investment robo-advisors, SaveDay determines a participant’s risk tolerance before creating an investment portfolio. The participant is asked four questions. The first requests your year of birth, which helps to determine the amount of risk that is acceptable. Three additional questions are related to your risk appetite. These are situational questions that will assess your reaction under financial duress.
Asset allocations will automatically be adjusted to a more conservative mix as the participant moves closer to retirement age. SaveDay assumes a retirement age of 59½, since that is the earliest age at which withdrawals from a plan can be made without incurring an IRS penalty.
Monitoring and rebalancing — SaveDay continually monitors 401(k) portfolios for allocation drift and proactively rebalances them to get them back in line with intended asset class allocations.
The SaveDay site is designed to work on smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices. However, they do not currently offer a downloadable app.
- 401(k) management for small employers — Large companies typically have entire departments set up to deal with the management of 401(k) plans. SaveDay can effectively represent that department for even the smallest employers.
- Retirement portfolio management — SaveDay provides small plan participants with professional investment management, including asset allocation determination, investment selection and regular rebalancing.
- Low fees — SaveDay's 401(k) fee structure is much lower than what is typically found in large employer 401(k) plans. This can have a major impact on the performance of a retirement portfolio over decades.
- Plan management is limited to 401(k) plans — At this time, SaveDay is not available for other common retirement plans, such as IRAs, 403(b) plans or 457 plans.
- Plans are not self-directed — If you like to make your own investment decisions, SaveDay is not a service for you. They make all investment decisions and invest your plan accordingly.
- Limited investment selection — Your account will be restricted to only the investments and asset classes determined by SaveDay. While you do have the opportunity to select a different portfolio, you will not be able to invest in alternative asset classes or even individual stocks.
- The service is brand new (2016) — This means there isn't a deep history that can be used to determine the efficiency of the platform.
SaveDay will make it easier and less costly for small employers to offer 401(k) plans for themselves and for their employees. They will provide professional investment management of individual plans, making it easier for employees who have little or no investment orientation, and they will perform all these services at fees well below what is typical in the industry.