In an effort to quash the inflation that the Federal Reserve (Fed) helped cause (and sought), they have been raising interest rates sharply at each Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. This action has provided a challenge for both the stock and bond markets. Historically, equity markets have experienced three negative quarters in a row and likewise the bond market has been down three quarters in a row, but not until this year have both the stock and bond markets fallen together for three consecutive quarters. During the quarter, US large cap stocks dropped another 4.9%, US small caps fell 2.2%, developed non-US stocks were down 9.3%, and emerging market equities tumbled 11.4%. After plummeting 5.9% and 4.7% in the first two quarters of the year, bonds fell another 4.8% during the quarter. As the Fed verbally prepares the markets for further rate increases, a reduction in its balance sheet and slower economic growth, globally, other central banks are anxious.
- Download full Market Commentary
- 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.
- Download the White Paper
One tax-efficient way to save for retirement healthcare expenses is through a Health Savings Account (HSA) coupled with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Even though the HSA savings vehicle was created in 2003, it has generally been misunderstood and is just beginning to gain legitimate acceptance. With the recent interest, many people have questions pertaining to these accounts. Below are some of the more common questions.
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.
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.