Data from leading retirement plan recordkeepers shows 401(k) and IRA accounts have seen smaller losses than many broad market indices, thanks in no small part to the efforts of plan sponsors and their advisers. Corporate pensions have also fared better than their public counterparts.
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.
“We think 2020 will be another year of slow growth—durable enough to avoid recession but disappointing to those looking for improvement,” says Bob Browne at Northern Trust.
Are earnings estimates too high? Is the trade progress substance or show? How long can a recession be avoided? What might the election mean for the economy?
According to the firm, “Sensible Fees” funds will enable investors to pay a low index or ETF-like base fee—only seeing a higher active management fee when fund performance objectives exceed the benchmark.
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 vast majority of today’s retirees still draw the lion’s share of their income from Social Security and pensions; however, in coming years the balance will very quickly tip to private savings sources such as 401(k) plans.
Managed accounts, target-date funds, hybrid funds and risk-based models are all prevalent in today’s defined contribution retirement plan marketplace.
Brexit uncertainty. An inverted yield curve. A burgeoning trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Slowing global growth and shifting currency valuations. Is it all enough to spark a recession?
“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.”
Advisers are used to addressing their clients’ behavioral biases when it comes to market risks and returns, but a new white paper suggests they need to do more to understand and overcome their own mistakes.
Individual investors expect roughly twice the yearly returns forecast by their advisers and investment managers.
Novice investors’ reactions to stock market volatility present an endless and intriguing field of study for behavioral economists, but for financial advisers, poor client decisionmaking is a serious issue.
As the product set expands, knowledge about the topic of “ESG investing,” and how this relates to ERISA’s demands, is expected by many plan sponsor clients and prospects.
Liability-driven investing is growing more important as pension plans broadly move into a phase where they are not growing but instead need to be focused on meeting their benefit obligations.