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Each episode offers employers candid, in-depth interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events.  

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Episode Guest:

David Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP

Head of Retirement Research,

Morningstar Investment Management, LLC

Morningstar Research & Common Workplace Retirement Plan Assumptions:
Time to Recalibrate or Business as Usual?

Guest: David M. Blanchett, PhD, CFA, CFP






Its episodes like these that were one of my primary motivations for starting the podcast, examining current beliefs or messaging in the marketplace and applying contemporary critical thinking to examine if they are still valid and reliable for both employers and employees in workplace retirement plans.  If you sponsor a 401(k) or other workplace retirement plans you have likely been given some off the cuff guidance on how much your employees should be saving for retirement, what is an adequate amount of income someone should be able to replace in retirement, what returns should people expect from their retirement savings and likely many others.  To help stress test these and other topics, I have David Blanchett, Head of Retirement Research at Morningstar to explore things!  He did such a great job so I’m not gong to steal his thunder; but I will say some things you have likely heard hold up, and others simply don’t.  While we tackle some meaty topics, I was incredibly impressed with David’s ability to break all this down in an easy to digest manner, but also tie back why this is important for both employers and employees to get their arms around to improve retirement outcomes.  

Guest Bio

David M. Blanchett is head of retirement research at Morningstar Investment Management LLC. In this role, he works to enhance the group’s consulting and investment services. He conducts research primarily in the areas of financial planning, tax planning, annuities, and retirement plans and serves as the chair of the Advice Methodologies and Automated Strategies subcommittee, which is the working group responsible for developing and maintaining all methodologies relating to wealth forecasting, general financial planning, automated investment selection, and portfolio assignment for Morningstar Investment Management LLC. Prior to joining Morningstar, he was the Director of Consulting and Investment Research for the Retirement Plan Consulting Group at Unified Trust Company in Lexington, KY.

His research has been published in a variety of academic and industry journals, such as the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Financial Planning, the Journal of Portfolio Management, the Journal of Retirement, and the Journal of Wealth Management, and has been featured in a variety of media publications, such as InvestmentNews, Marketwatch, Money Magazine, the New York Times, PLANSPONSOR magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.  His research won the Journal of Financial Planning’s 2007 Financial Frontiers Award, the Retirement Income Industry Association’s 2012 Thought Leadership Award, the Journal of Financial Planning’s 2014 and 2015 Montgomery-Warschauer Awards, and the Financial Analysts Journal 2015 Graham & Dodd Scroll Award.

In 2014 InvestmentNews included him in their inaugural 40 under 40 list as a “visionary” for the financial planning industry and in 2014 Money Magazine called him one of the brightest minds in retirement planning.  He is a RetireMentor for MarketWatch and an Expert retirement panelist for the Wall Street Journal. 


He currently holds the following professional designations or certifications: Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst TM (AIFA®), and he is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Kentucky, a master‘s degree in financial services from the American College, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a doctorate in personal financial planning program from Texas Tech University.

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