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Rising Interest Rates & 401(k) Plans:
Is it True and What's an Employer to Do?

Episode Guests:

Brett Wander, CFA    
Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income
Charles Schwab Investment Management
Jake Gilliam, CFA, AIF    

Senior Multi-Asset Class Portfolio Strategist

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

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Recap, highlights, and my thoughts

If you are curious, concerned or confused about what’s going on with interest rates and how it might impact the bond/fixed income market or some of the investments in you 401(k) investment menu, I have great news for you!  My conversation with Brett Wander, the Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income at Charles Schwab and Jake Gilliam, a senior Mutli-Asset Class Strategist also with Charles Schwab clears a lot of things up!  Brett shares some great economic insights and Jake does an excellent job tying those concepts to how they might impact various investment strategies. 

If you’re thinking, this is going to be really confusing or it might be over your head, stop right there because as usual, we take what can be a complex or maybe what some would call a boring topic and break it down into easy to understand pieces with some great ideas and questions you can bring back to your next investment committee meeting. 

Be sure to listen for some key observations about the overall direction of interest rates, how that may or may not impact your fixed income options, some key questions to ask about the bond exposures in your target date fund and what a yield trap is and how plan fiduciaries could unknowingly already be in one!  I will have to say, despite this being a little bit of a longer episode there isn’t anything i would remove and i have already listened to this several times and have come away with new insights each time.  

Tis the season for giving & sharing!  If you have been enjoying the podcast please mention it to a friend, share on social media or leave a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.  All of that goes a long way to help grow our audience, attract high quality guests and keep sharing high quality timely content. 

As a bonus, below are a few pieces of info Brett & Jake mentioned during our conversation.  

Thanks for listening! 

Sincerely Your Host, 

Rick Unser


Guest Bio

Brett Wander is Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Fixed Income for Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM). He is responsible for all aspects of the firm's fixed income and money market portfolios, leading a team of more than 20 investment professionals.


With more than 25 years of investment management experience, Mr. Wander has been intimately involved in the design, development and oversight of a wide range of active, indexed and alternative fixed income strategies. His expertise spans a wide range of global and domestic markets and sectors. Prior to joining CSIM in June 2011, Mr. Wander was senior managing director at State Street Global Advisors, where he managed and directed the firm’s $30 billion active fixed-income enterprise. He also held senior fixed-income leadership positions at Loomis Sayles, State Street Research and Payden & Rygel. In those roles, he designed investment processes, developed risk management methodologies, managed investment teams, and consistently generated strong investment performance track records.


Jake Gilliam is a Senior Multi-Asset Class Portfolio Strategist for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. supporting Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc.’s (CSIM) Asset Allocation and Sub-Advisor Oversight Committees. He contributes to strategic decisions for all multi-asset class portfolios as well as several single asset-class portfolios within CSIM and for the Schwab Bank Collective Trust Funds. He works closely with the Chief Investment Officers, Portfolio Managers, Research, and Sub-Advisor Oversight teams on a frequent basis. Mr. Gilliam also represents CSIM’s multi-asset class strategies to the institutional marketplace, clients, and the media.


Previously, he was the day-to-day Senior Portfolio Manager for Schwab Bank’s Collective Trust Funds and Head of Sub-Advisor oversight for CSIM. Additionally, Mr. Gilliam served as interim Head of Asset Allocation and Portfolio Manager for CSIM’s Multi-Asset Class funds. Mr. Gilliam also developed the Schwab Corporate and Retirement Services Institutional Investment Analyst team and oversaw the due diligence process for maintaining the Schwab Focus List™. Earlier in his career, he also worked as a sell-side Equity Research Associate covering the food retail and restaurant industries.

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