401(k) Participants 2018-01-25T22:12:38+00:00

Project Description

Case Study –

Maximize Potential Returns, Minimize Excess Risk

If you’re like many retirement plan participants, you might feel a bit overwhelmed.  You’re dedicated to your company and to your career, but now you’re expected to be a professional investment manager too.  So what do most 401(k) and other company-sponsored retirement plan participants do?

Unfortunately, most participants do nothing at all.  And that’s a mistake, because the overwhelming majority of investment options expose your hard-earned retirement savings to significant risks.  During the last recession, many 401(k) funds that invest for growth or for dividend income saw sharp declines of -30%, -40%, -50% or more.   For most participants, these periodic losses can be downright scary.

And what about the rest of your investment choices? Many plans offer money market or other fixed return options, but in today’s low interest rate environment many fixed income funds either currently earn less than the rate of inflation or expose you to risks you might not even realize.  There’s a better way.

clearTREND Can Help

Maximize Potential Returns, Minimize Excess Risk

To be successful, 401(k) participants need to earn consistent, meaningful returns over time while working to manage the risk of excessive loss along the way.  It’s known as “Low Variance Investing,” and it’s based on the Nobel Prize-winning idea that investors can achieve higher returns over time by managing the risk of excessive losses along the way.  This makes perfect sense.

And that’s exactly what clearTREND is built to do.  It identifies market turns for the investments in your personal 401(k) account and recommends simple, straightforward adjustments you can make to either minimize risk during a newly formed downturn or take advantage of new opportunities during a newly formed market upturn.

clearTREND Library – Mutual Fund and ETF Statistics

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Case Study

Appleton Group Managed 401(k) Program

Starting January 1, 2012 Appleton Group LLC began exclusively using clearTREND to generate all recommendations for its private client Managed 401(k) Program.  This program consisted of 51 private client 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) accounts from 35 unique employers. 


Appleton Group clients in this program primarily invested for growth with risk management being a key concern.

The program used clearTREND to identify turning points for a diverse group of market sectors, including U.S. Large Cap Growth, Large Cap Value, Large Cap Blend, Small Caps, Developed and Emerging International Markets, and U.S. Real Estate.  Appleton Group assigned each sector to a specific exchange-traded funds (ETF) which clearTREND then monitored for turning points.  As turns were identified, corresponding mutual funds existing in each client’s retirement plan account were adjusted accordingly.


Since adopting clearTREND in 2012 as its sole research engine, Appleton Group’s Managed 401(k) Program has produced client returns that have largely kept pace with the overall global markets. While clearTREND has produced investor growth (net of a 1.00% advisory fee) that has been consistent with the favorable market environment, it exposes investors to approximately half of the statistical risk (50.08%) of the mutual funds and ETFs in the clearTREND Research Library.

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See the Difference clearTREND Can Make in Your Personal 401(k) Account

For many individuals, their 401(k) or other retirement plan assets represent both their single largest financial asset and a critical part of their financial future.  Missing a turn can turn a great plan into a great pain, with either excessive losses during a sustained downturn or minimal reward during a sustained market upturn.

At only $30 per month, a clearTREND 401(k) subscription can put you in control of your retirement assets like never before.

So who should consider subscribing? While it can be a great approach for nearly every participant, it may be be most helpful for individuals with $50,000 or more in current assets or for those with 20 years or less until retirement.

Coming April 2018

Simple Step-by-Step Approach

Most employer-sponsored retirement plans limit your fund choices.  This actually makes setting up your account fairly easy.  Simply choose anywhere from 6-8 of your favorite funds based on your investing goals.  When you set up your clearTREND account, you can easily enter these funds (either by ticker or by name) along with the percentage of your account you’ll want to have in each.


Easily compare the historic outcomes for each fund versus simply buying and holding each fund.  Easily evaluate potential returns and risks, and determine which funds could potentially benefit from clearTREND.


Never miss a turn.  With a paid subscription, clearTREND will notify you every time one of your chosen funds changes direction based on each security’s “best fit” solution.  Depending on the fund, you might be notified every few months.  In some cases, trends could last several years or just several weeks.  But clearTREND evaluates each fund daily and will even give you up to 5 days advanced notice of a potential recommendation change.


You can do it, and it’s very easy.  When a new recommendation is generated, simply log in to your personal 401(k) account, make the prescribed adjustment, and you’re done.  Your assets never leave your account, you’re always in control, and every adjustment is completely up to you.

Need help? Our staff of trend-gineers are available to help answer your questions along the way.