Our Vision: Improving client outcomes through the considerate allocation of knowledge, experience and skill.

Individualized Glide Path Solution

Today’s Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIA) in retirement plans are mostly “one-size-fits-all” products such as target date funds or costly “managed accounts.” iGPS offers the best of both worlds: an individualized defaulted approach to retirement investing at target date fund expenses. It’s essentially TDF 2.0.

iGPS makes personalization a reality at scale. This means that those participants defaulting into a QDIA will not be placed into a universal glide path designed for the “average” employee; instead, they will see their retirement investments personalized to them through implementing an individualized glide path solution.

The same in-plan personalization can be had for those electing to engage (instead of defaulting). iGPS rests on a managed account advice engine that assists employees in making individualized investment decisions with the framework of income replacement sufficiency at retirement.

Personalized. Responsive. Precise.

Target Date Funds traditionally use national average metrics to guide the development and ongoing adjustment of investment portfolios. This approach categorizes individuals within a five-year age range into identical retirement portfolios, without considering variations in their financial circumstances or savings. The iGPS model, or TDF 2.0, represents an evolution in this methodology that adopts a personalized portfolio construction strategy that is based on each participant’s unique data — not just age.

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Who is Nexus338

Philip Chao, founder of Nexus338, is a 25-plus year consultant in the employer-sponsored retirement plan industry. Since the Congress recognized target date funds (TDFs) as QDIAs in 2006, TDFs have become the default investment of choice for defined contribution retirement plans. A TDF asset allocation glide path of reducing investment risks over an employee’s working life to save for retirement makes sense. However, with the advancement of computing and data science, a better solution should be created to individualize portfolios for each worker at no more cost than TDFs.

TDF popularity coincided with the legislative recognition of a lack of sufficient savings for retirement by the average American worker at a time when traditional pension plans were being eliminated. Regulations supported employers to automatically enroll employees into retirement plans and increase their contributions over time. Once contributions are made, they are defaulted into a QDIA investment with safe harbor protection for the employers.

Since the creation of TDFs in the mid-90’s, one thing has not changed. The objective for every target date fund series is to replace a percentage of the annual earned income of an average American worker during retirement. Over time, the industry attempted to improve TDF by offering a number of risk-preference glidepaths (conservative, moderate and aggressive) or customizing the glidepath to employees of a single employer. However, regardless of the efforts and costs, even a custom glidepath is simply narrowing the broad data input used for the average American worker to the broad data input for the average worker of a company. In all cases, workers are still placed on the same glide path without personalization.

After years of effort, Nexus338 created the Individualized Glide Path Solution (iGPS) that overcomes the one-size-fits-all TDF as the better QDIA for all retirement plans. By using individual employee data available on the recordkeeping platform, iGPS creates individualized retirement portfolios based on the age, income, retirement asset size and combined contribution rates of each worker. Instead of trying to treat all American workers as an average worker, iGPS designs an individualized glidepath for each employee.

Why We Serve to Lead

The Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst’s motto is “Serve to Lead”, and the final quote in its cadet lessons plans by Field Marshal Sir William Slim Courage in 1957 states:

“Unselfishness, as far as you are concerned means simply this – you will put first the honour and interests of your country and your regiment; next you will put the safety, wellbeing and comfort of your men; and last – and last all the time – you will put your own interest, your own safety, your own comfort.”

Nexus338, LLC believes that “Serve to Lead” defines the essence of a fiduciary and how we practice every day. We lead our clients through unselfishly serving them so that our clients have a higher probability of reaching the desired and necessary outcome for the working men and women of America.

Our Team

Philip S. L. Chao, CFP

Philip Chao, CFP

Managing Member & CIO

Philip Chao founded Nexus338, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor firm, to provide fiduciary investment management services to defined contribution retirement plans. The Firm’s founding mission is to be an advocate and investment manager for retirement plan sponsors to deliver prudent in-plan investment management services. This means acting in the capacity of an ERISA 3(38) fiduciary to provide the highest level of care in overseeing managed account services as well as providing fiduciary coverage on each plan participant.

As the Managing Member of Nexus338, Philip is the firm’s Chief Investment Officer. He is a passionate supporter of and advocate for the fiduciary standard and has advocated on many occasions with DOL staff in sharing his thoughts and practical applications regarding the ERISA fiduciary definition. His public comments can be viewed on the DOL’s and the SEC’s websites.

Philip is also the founder of Experiential Wealth, Inc., a wealth management firm offering investment management services to families and institutions. 

Philip’s curiosity, knowledge and years of experience in the retirement and investment management industry make him a sought-after speaker in industry events. His opinions and writings often appear in InvestmentNews, Advisorpedia.com, CNBC Personal Finance, and Financial Advisor, among other industry news outlets.  Philip was named one of the top 100 retirement advisors in 2019 by the Plan Advisor Magazine.

Philip is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He received his Certified Financial Planner certificate in 1991, completed his Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst training from the Center For Fiduciary Studies and the University of Pittsburgh Katz School of Business Center in 2006, and received Premier Certificates in FinTech from Harvard University in 2019.

Eileen Huang, CFA

Eileen Huang, CFA

Senior Analyst

Eileen Huang plays an integral and important investment management role in constructing client investment policy statements (IPSs) and quantifying client investment objectives. She values the fiduciary relationship and trust that Nexus338 builds with its clients, and she strives to reinforce that trust through timely monitoring and evaluation of investments to ensure that recommendations remain consistent with the IPS. Eileen is responsible for conducting investment research, manager analysis and the investment due diligence process as well as preparing quarterly investment and portfolio analysis reports. She is responsible for maintaining the firm’s portfolio management system and is in charge of all quantitative analysis.

Eileen received her Bachelor of International Business from the Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and her MBA in finance from the George Washington University in 1996. Eileen earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2000 and is a member of the CFA Society of San Diego.

Amanda Pagenhardt

Amanda Pagenhardt

Client Relationship Director

Amanda Pagenhardt is responsible for the firm’s client relationships. Her role is to deliver all non-investment related client services. Amanda works with clients daily to help them resolve any service issues generated by third party investment and service providers. Amanda is also fully responsible for all Firm related administrative and human resources matters.

Amanda graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Economics and George Mason University with an MBA.