Retirement investors have little choice but to stay the course; even backing away from the markets for a short period can prove detrimental to long-term returns.
Despite periods of volatility in the past decade, retirement plan investors have benefitted from a strong equity market and their commitment to investing in tax-qualified vehicles.
“Stocks are trading at a very high price-to earnings ratio, and we don’t see that as sustainable,” says Jon Barry, senior retirement strategist at MFS.
While trading during the month favored fixed-income funds, with the positive stock market movements, average asset allocation in equities increased from 67.1% in September to 67.3% in October.
Investors must rethink “safe havens” in their portfolio now that bonds simply can’t offer the same combination of portfolio protection and positive income.
The largest funds tend to have the highest ratings from objective third parties, while the smallest funds generally fail to receive positive marks.
Registered investment adviser-focused deal volume for the first three quarters of 2019 has already surpassed last year’s total activity for the channel, according to Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions.
Managed accounts, target-date funds, hybrid funds and risk-based models are all prevalent in today’s defined contribution retirement plan marketplace.
Among the remarkable characteristics of today’s global fixed-income marketplace is the $15 trillion invested in negatively yielding bonds.
“We just had an asset-allocation meeting and we spent probably half of it talking about global trade tensions and the China-U.S. relationship,” says Bob Brown, CIO at Northern Trust. “This is a big deal for the markets. The two largest economies in the world have changed the nature of their relationship.”
Individual investors expect roughly twice the yearly returns forecast by their advisers and investment managers.
A new academic paper published by the TIAA Institute shows little difference in behavior among undergraduate students, young adults, middle-aged people and older subjects when it comes to rationally navigating uncertain conditions.