FAQ

You have questions. We have answers. We also have a lot of other really neat stuff if you stick around.

General Questions

Do I have to move my account to have blooom help me? expand_more


No. Your 401k stays put. You don’t have to open up a new account or transfer it. We can work with any 401k plan as long as it has online access.

Is there a minimum account size? expand_more


Nope. You could just be starting out with your 401k or you can have a gazillion dollars. It doesn’t matter to us. We help all 401k participants.

Doesn’t my investment representative or fund company manage my money for me already? expand_more


Nope. Way back when you signed up with them, you told them what percentage to invest and where. They merely help you implement your own advice – be it good or bad.

Is blooom a fiduciary? expand_more


Yes. We are a fiduciary. This basically means we are required by law to act in your best interest, not ours. We wish this was the case for all advisors in the good ol’ US of A, but it’s not.

Can a broker at a brokerage firm help me? expand_more


Most of the time no. Here is why: most brokerage firms won’t allow their sales people to offer specific advice because that would mean they were acting as a fiduciary. Brokerage firms don’t want the liability of bad advice from their sales people.

How long does it take blooom to fix my 401k? expand_more


Most of the time, the account will be adjusted within 10 days. Sometimes it can take a bit longer, but never more than 30 days.

Are there people or computers fixing my 401k? expand_more


Both. While our machine (algorithm) does all the heavy lifting, our licensed advisors and blooom account coordinators occasionally test and confirm rebalances are completed accurately.

How often will blooom adjust my 401k? expand_more


We will take a peek under the hood and see if we need to make any adjustments. If we need to tweak, something we’ll do it for you.

What keeps me from signing up with blooom and then quitting after blooom fixes my 401k? expand_more


Nothing. You are free to go. BUT 401ks aren’t a “set it and forget it” solution to your retirement savings. Having a professional making adjustments, analyzing your fund options, and adjusting your allocation as you get closer to retirement goes a long, long way to helping you hit your goals. Plus, that’s kind of like hiring a security company to come out to your house, wiring up an alarm, keeping the service for a month, and then firing them after you buy a Doberman. Some things are best left to the professionals. 401ks are one of those things.

How do I change my allocation? expand_more


Log into your account, click on the button that says ‘Adjust Allocation’, and you’ll be able to make the change. At your next rebalance date, we will make the necessary adjustments. Voila!

How do I change my retirement date? expand_more


Log into your account, click on the button that says ‘Adjust Retirement’, and you’ll be able to make the change. Easy-breezy.

Can I talk to someone at blooom about a specific question on my 401k? expand_more


Sure. You can hit us up on live chat (just log into your account), shoot us an email or call us toll free at 888-550-9956.

Can I adjust my 401k allocations without blooom’s permission? expand_more


Of course, you maintain full control of your account at all times. If you ever want to make a change in your account, just call your 401k custodian and they will follow your investment instructions.

Will blooom contact me when they make a change in my 401k? expand_more


Yes. Anytime we make investment adjustments we will send you an email.

Can I approve the changes to my account before you submit the transactions? expand_more


At this point, we work from a ‘discretionary management agreement.’ This is pretty much boiler plate for financial advisors. It basically states that you signed off on the allocation and we can place trades on your behalf.

The reasoning behind why we can’t run each change by you is two-fold:

1. It’s a bandwidth issue. We’re aiming to help millions of Americans over the long-term and asking for approval before we take action would slow things down and increase your cost dramatically.

2. We’re a fiduciary, which is fancy speak for blooom acting in your non-emotionally charged, rational best interest. If you really feel like you need control of every trade that’s made then blooom may not be a perfect fit. We were designed for folks who want to delegate their 401k to professionals.

I understand you cannot actively manage my IRA, but can you still advise me on it? expand_more


If you have a 401k account managed through blooom, our advisors are available to assist you with any number of financial questions you may have, including general advice on how to invest your IRA. However, at this time, we do not have an option to solely sign up for our advisory service without having a managed account. Stay tuned!

Do you support family accounts? expand_more


Not at this time. Each family member will need to have their own blooom profile, in order to enter their own individual information (age, retirement date, etc).

Do you review all of my accounts holistically? expand_more


We manage each account individually. However, keep in mind that if each of your accounts is individually diversified, your holistic financial picture should also be appropriately diversified.

Do you support HSAs (health savings)? What about 529s (college savings)? expand_more


At this point we only manage employer-sponsored retirement accounts, such as 401k, 403b, 401a and 457 accounts.

When are you available to talk? expand_more


Our chat line is available from 8-5 CST, Monday through Friday (except major holidays). If you contact us outside of those hours, you can expect a response via email on the next business day!

Fees

Why is the cost so little? expand_more


We know, most people are shocked at how little we charge. But we think that solid advice should be available to all – and we’ve priced our services accordingly.

Are there hidden fees? expand_more


Blooom doesn’t have any hidden fees. However, the investments in your 401k have internal expenses. Blooom seeks to use the most cost effective funds in your 401k allocation.

Are there any long-term contracts with blooom? expand_more


None. It is pay as you go. As long as you cancel 48 hours before the end of any month, you won’t be charged for the next month. And we will sadly, but professionally, part ways.

Investments

Will you time the market? expand_more


We don’t time the market. We believe that effectively timing the market is impossible. Study after study proves this theory. If however you believe that you can time the market, then blooom definitely isn’t for you.

Are you using a tactical management style? expand_more


We don’t use a tactical approach. Tactical is a glorified version of market timing. We believe in constructing well-diversified portfolios and then actively rebalancing when necessary.

How does blooom determine stock and bond ratios? expand_more


The simple answer: math. We factor your current age against your retirement age and use an exponential glide path that moves blooom users closer to the needed bond exposure for a typical retiree. The actual calculation is our secret – much like Colonel Sanders’ 11 secret herbs and spices.

Why use blooom when I could just use a target date fund? expand_more


Target date funds are a great tool for 401k participants that want a one-size-fits-all approach. Blooom Clients get customized portfolios that are monitored specifically for their retirement goal and adjusted accordingly.

Do you manage IRAs or roth IRAs? expand_more


At this point in time we do not manage those types of accounts. We all learned something from McDonald’s failed launch of the McPizza in 1990, and in that life lesson, we are going to keep doing what we do best – 401ks.

Can I approve the changes to my account before you submit the transactions? expand_more


At this point, we work from a ‘discretionary management agreement.’ This is pretty much boiler plate for financial advisors. It basically states that you signed off on the allocation and we can place trades on your behalf.

The reasoning behind why we can’t run each change by you is two-fold:

1. It’s a bandwidth issue. We’re aiming to help millions of Americans over the long-term and asking for approval before we take action would slow things down and increase your cost dramatically.

2. We’re a fiduciary, which is fancy speak for blooom acting in your non-emotionally charged, rational best interest. If you really feel like you need control of every trade that’s made then blooom may not be a perfect fit. We were designed for folks who want to delegate their 401k to professionals.

What is the rationale behind the allocation you chose for me? expand_more


We focus on three main things…

Here is the order of importance within our methodology:
1. Get the stock:bond ratio appropriate for your timeframe to retirement.
2. Get you exposed to every appropriate asset class possible within your 401k fund lineup.
3. Select the lowest cost funds for each asset class.

My account has a portion invested in my company’s stock, what will you do with that? expand_more


We will manage ONLY the portion of your account balance that is not invested in company stock. However, our advisors can help direct you through the process of reducing company stock on your own, should you choose to do so.

I have the ability to invest a portion of my 401k through a self-directed brokerage, will you make use of that feature? expand_more


We will manage ONLY the portion of your account balance that is not invested in the self-directed brokerage

What are your average client’s returns? expand_more


We don’t have any of that information set up on our back-end. There are an unbelievable number of variables involved in 401k accounts that make those metrics extremely difficult for us to report. For example, we can’t see what growth comes from your paycheck contributions and what comes from the market.

Overall, we try to help folks invest for the long-term. We don’t want to get too caught up in short-term performance.

Deposits, Withdrawals, Transfers

Will blooom initiate withdrawals out of my account? expand_more


No. We never will take money out of your account. You will have to call your custodian to initiate a withdrawal or a loan.

Will blooom help me with an old 401k? expand_more


Yes. We can assist you with the management of this account too.

Will blooom change my contribution amount into my 401k? expand_more


No. We will not change the amount that you are withholding out of your paycheck to fund your retirement. But if you want some basic advice, we’d tell you to contribute as much as you can to your 401k.

Security

Is blooom secure? expand_more


Yes. We take security and privacy very seriously. We recognize that before we can help you with your 401k, we have to keep your information safe and secure. To learn more about our security, please check out our entire page dedicated to security!