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Choosing a financial wellness provider? Evaluate them in four categories.

US Army Air Corps pilots were dying in 1934, but not because of war—our entry into World War II was still years away. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had asked them to deliver US mail due to a contract dispute. Training didn’t adequately prepare them for the task. Fatalities reached a staggering 25%. Thankfully, a solution came from aviation pioneer Edwin Link.

Link created the first flight simulator, built with bellows and pumps from his father’s organ factory. No one took his contraption seriously. However, the Air Corps was desperate. They gave it a chance. It was so successful that 500,000 pilots later used it during the war. It worked because you could practice before actually flying.

Choosing the right financial wellness provider can make or break your program's success. Like Link's flight simulator, our comparison guide can help you make a well-grounded decision when choosing who your partner will be.

Which way do you go?

Before comparing financial wellness providers, determine your financial wellness approach. Evaluate whether you should build in-house capabilities, or partner with a recordkeeper or third-party provider. You may determine that you don't even need a program.

Use the flowchart in our Choosing Your Financial Wellness Approach piece to help. Note: You’ll need to log in or register to view the report.

What are you looking for in a financial wellness provider?

After you've chosen your approach, identify the provider characteristics most important to you. To help you get started, here are several questions you can ask. But we suggest you use page 4 of our Financial Wellness Provider Comparison Guide, which gives you an easy way to rank the importance of each topic. You can download the guide at the bottom of this page.

  1. Participant features
  • Can participants access content and tools available without logging in on the provider's website?
  • Do they offer tools to assess participants’ financial situations?
  • Can they aggregate all of participants' finances?
  • Do they offer rewards and incentives for participating in the program?
  1. Education and advice
  • Does the provider have a CFP® or other investment representative on staff?
  • Does the provider offer education with or without investment advice?
  • Do they offer investment advice with or without product recommendations?
  1. Program delivery
  • Does the provider only offer PDF or print-based tools?
  • Do they offer online dynamic content that's tailored to the participants' age, demographics, goals, and needs?
  • Do they offer one-on-one discussions in-person or by phone with a CFP® or investment professional?
  • Do they offer customized delivery methods created for the unique needs of participants?
  1. Features for advisors
  • Does the provider offer topics and content for the advisor to deliver?
  • Do they offer reports and analytics that measure the program's effectiveness?
  • Do they offer marketing tools to promote the program?
  • Do they allow the advisor to brand the program?


Get a comparison grid of financial wellness providers

Answering the questions above can help you understand what you're looking for in a provider. Next, determine which provider or providers to work with to create your financial wellness programs. In our Financial Wellness Provider Comparison Guide, you’ll find a comparison grid of third-party providers' capabilities on pages 6-7 and recordkeepers' capabilities on pages 24-25. In addition, full profile pages offer a summary of capabilities and contact information for each provider.


Next Steps:

  1. Choose your financial wellness approach using page 5 of our Choosing Your Financial Wellness Approach. Note: You’ll need to login or register to view the report.
  2. Determine what you’re looking for in a financial wellness provider using page 4 of our Financial Wellness Provider Comparison Guide (download below)
  3. Contact your Hartford Funds sales specialist about creating your financial wellness game plan.

*Source: The Elephant in the Retirement Room—Financial Wellness Research, Ann Schleck & Co. and Hartford Funds, 2016

Hartford Funds has engaged Ann Schleck & Co. LLC to develop the materials referenced herein. Ann Schleck & Co. LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.