Phillips/McGinn Retirement Resources

Peabody, Massachusetts


: PA TOP 100 - 2013: Teams and Individuals With: 20% or More in 403(b) Plans

Jim Phillips is president, and Patrick McGinn CFA is vice president of Retirement Resources, a registered investment adviser (RIA) specializing in qualified retirement plans. They are Accredited Investment Fiduciaries (AIF), have been named to the PLANADVISER Magazine 2012 and 2013 Top 100 lists, were finalists in the 2012 Morningstar/ASPPA 401(k) Leadership Award, and have won multiple Signature Awards from the PSCA. They have written for Defined Contribution Insights, PLANSPONSOR, ASPPA’s 403(b) Advisor, PLANADVISER, and, and have spoken at SPARK, ASPPA, PSNC and PANC.

What about this business are you most passionate about?

Making a difference. There’s a perfect storm shaping up for millions of American workers. A combination of inadequate savings, increasing lifespans, rising healthcare costs, and fewer post-retirement, part-time employment opportunities will make it very tough for future retirees to make ends meet. We’re making a difference in thousands of lives by increasing awareness of the economic realities, and motivating people to make better retirement savings decisions.

How do you continue to grow your business and maintain the high service standards that have made you successful?

It’s a virtuous circle. By maintaining very high levels of service and client satisfaction, we have been able to grow the business through referrals and use the time that would have otherwise been diverted to sales to plow back into additional client services.

From your experience, what common mistakes do advisers make in building their practices?

One mistake is making the sale, backing away and then relying upon the vendor to meet all the plan’s needs. It frees up time for selling, but it doesn’t demonstrate value. In this era of fee transparency and “reasonableness” assessments, absentee advisers are at high risk.

How do you differentiate yourself from competitors?

For several years, we have been writing and speaking on retirement plan topics. This demonstrates a couple of things to prospective clients: we are committed to making a difference and we have been found to be credible by editors, publishers and conference organizers. In a sense, this demonstrates that we have been vetted by industry experts.

If we asked your clients why they do business with you, what would they say?

Trust and comfort are two big factors. We have worn the “fiduciary hat” for many years, and are able to effectively guide plan committees to making good decisions. Employee appreciation of the retirement benefit often increases because of our focus on achieving better individual outcomes. Clients often tell us that they sleep better at night knowing that their defined contribution (DC) plan is tightly managed.