- Recent trends in global growth and consumer confidence provided a tailwind to equity markets during the second quarter. Emerging markets have been the strongest performer year-to-date as growth prospects have improved and the dollar has weakened. Europe and other developed international markets have also seen their metrics improve. In a reversal of trends that started in the first quarter, the US underperformed other developed markets. Even though stronger GDP growth continues to elude the US, the stock market trudged upward, but at a slower pace than first quarter. From a US fixed income perspective, the two recent Fed rate hikes only pushed the yield curve flatter as the bond market does not yet believe the higher rate mantra. Global credit, specifically emerging market bonds and high yield, outperformed US bonds. Continue reading.
- Redefining the Retirement Plan is Axia’s guide to trends and strategies that will help employers get the most out of their retirement programs. Defined Benefit plans and Social Security have been the simple answer to retirement for the past century. Life expectancy has improved though and an added strain has been placed on plan sponsors to help their employees replace their incomes in retirement. Fortunately, employers are equipped with more tools than ever before to help their employees retire with dignity. Continue reading.
The SSA highlights some sobering statistics that confirm what studies have shown: most people have not saved enough for retirement. As a result, people are not determining their Social Security benefit timing. Instead, benefits usually begin immediately after gainful employment ends as their savings buffer is limited. For prepared investors, the goal is to make an active decision on benefit commencement.read more
On June 9, 2017, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule went into effect. The rule, also known as the Conflict of Interest Rule, expands the fiduciary definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In the simplest terms, the DOL Fiduciary Rule will require advisors to put their client’s interests ahead of their own when giving advice to retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Further, any potential conflict of interest must be disclosed along with a clear statement of the fees and commissions received in exchange for the advice.read more
The future of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule is in limbo following a memorandum released last Friday by President Trump. While a draft memo released earlier in the day delayed the implementation date by 180 days, the final memo did not contain such language. Rather, the final version of the memo directs the Department of Labor to re-examine the Rule to determine whether it may adversely affect the manner in which American can receive financial advice.read more