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Market Commentary


Q3|2020 Market Commentary


  • A favorite movie for many, “The Princess Bride”, has a scene that fittingly sums up 2020. The movie’s narrator (the boy’s grandfather) asks the young boy being told the story, “Let’s see … where were we?  Oh yes, in the Pit of Despair”. A global pandemic may leave some with a feeling of despair. As many continue to be isolated to some degree or another, socioeconomic improvements continue to vary, and political and social unrest rises, it impacts people both physically and emotionally. From an economic perspective, the economy and financial markets have diverged. The economic situation certainly is a struggle for the 11.7 million people with continuing jobless claims, but unemployment has dropped from 14.7% in April to 7.9% recently. Businesses, many small businesses in particular, continue to lack the wherewithal to weather the continued limited consumer demand and outright city/state government shutdown decrees.
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Redefining the Retirement Plan
  • 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.
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When Should You Claim Your Social Security Benefit?

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.

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DOL Fiduciary Rule Takes Effect

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.

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