When investors in 401(k) plans are given some kind of advice, whether it’s personal assistance in choosing their investment lineup, an advice tool or even a target-date fund that automatically adjusts holdings as an investor reaches closer to retirement, they enjoy higher returns, according to Charles Schwab.

Schwab, for instance, offers plan sponsors a retirement advice tool called Schwab Personal Retirement Planning that is administered by an independent investment advisor, GuidedChoice. Schwab found that investors who took advantage of this tool in 2006 earned an average of 14.11%, and those who did not earned 11.11%. In 2005, those who used the tool earned an average of 9.2%, compared to 6.6% by those who did not.

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