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intellicents rolls out “Corona Crash Survival Kit”
intellicents has created a multitude of investment educational pieces and tools in direct response to the Coronavirus. Calling it their “Corona Crash Survival Kit,” intellicents is providing it to plan sponsor clients and employers across the United States – completely complimentary.
“This really just started out as a way to better serve our plan sponsor clients during the pandemic,” commented Brad Arends, Co-Founder and CEO of intellicents. “Thinking back to the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, we knew there would be a lot of worry, questions, and borderline panic from both plan sponsors and their participants. This time, however, we were faced with travel bans, point of entry restrictions, and mandatory working from home. We not only wanted our consultants, advisors, and relationship managers to reach out to all of our clients via phone, but we developed a digital communication campaign to touch our clients at least three times per week on topics ranging from weekly (rather than monthly) market updates, legislative briefs on relevant topics like the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program, and twice per week participant communications giving insight on managing their 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. It’s the participant-based communications and services that we have had non-client plan sponsors and outside advisors contact us regarding their interest in using our material.”
What started out as a couple of short written participant communication pieces on the most common questions the intellicents participant call center was receiving, evolved into a 16-page digital brochure titled, “your investment roadmap on surviving the Corona Crash.” Plan sponsors and advisors can read, download, and even print off the brochure in its entirety or just the individual page(s) they feel are the most relevant for their participant base - all directly from the intellicents website here. Topics include the importance of taking a long-term view from both an investment and contribution side, the hazards of market timing and investing based on your emotions, time-tested strategies of dollar-cost-averaging and rebalancing, and the importance of a holistic financial plan to overall success.
intellicents then made the decision to likewise make several other services available to plan sponsors complimentary. “The Corona Crash exposed a number of core weaknesses in the financial health of the typical American worker,” commented Arends. “Lack of basic budgeting knowledge, poor debt and credit management, and zero funds set aside for an unexpected financial emergency are a common ground. That’s why we’re now giving away our intellicents ‘life steps’ financial planning program. With just a spreadsheet of participant data, including age and wage among other factors, we can produce a robo foundational financial plan for every employee offering guidelines for not only these issues, but also suggestions for income protection and where they should be right now from a retirement savings standpoint. And as a public service in this time of great uncertainty, we are making it available to any plan sponsors free of charge.”
Enhancing their “Corona Crash Survival Kit” even further, intellicents is adding its myCents powered by EvoShare cash-back program as another tool for plan sponsors and their participants. myCents offers employees additional 401(k) contributions in the form of cash-back from their everyday spending. It also provides employers with an entirely new engine for financial wellness, one that automatically puts more money in employees’ pockets, increases plan participation and contributions; and does it all without requiring employees to change their spending habits. “At a time when most people are restricted to shopping online and reducing spending to just the essentials, they can still save for retirement by merely sticking to those habits,” commented Grant Arends, Co-Founder and President of intellicents. “Who would have ever thought that shopping online at Target, eBay, Walmart, Home Depot, Walgreens, Macy’s, or 1,300 other businesses could result in additional contributions for your retirement plan, student loans, or college savings fund?” Additionally, intellicents and EvoShare have put together a “myCents COVID-19 Savers Guide” pointing participants to retailers in 10 different categories like essential services, kids’ entertainment, grocery delivery, meal prep, and home improvement who participate in giving cash back.