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Market Commentary


Q1|2020 Market Commentary


  • What a Year!  Oh wait, that was only the first quarter and what a quarter of change it was.  Change can occur naturally or be self-induced. Many times it happens in small increments and therefore is not terribly noticeable.  When change launches in a large instantaneous wave, it instills fear in many, but provides opportunity for others.  What the world has experienced over the last few months is unprecedented in our lifetimes.  We have changed our lifestyles, our interactions, our daily processes, and quite possibly our economic future. Unlike the “Great Financial Crisis”, the US and global economy has nearly shutdown.  The big question economically is how and when to begin to restart business activity without inducing the same negative health impact we were trying to avoid originally. The health crisis and the closure of most business activity has obviously had negative impacts on the financial markets with every major asset class except the US Aggregate Bond index declining precipitously during the quarter.
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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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