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Q4|2020 Market Commentary

 

  • As 2020 thankfully comes to a close, one might be reminded of Edvard Munch’s iconic modern art painting, “The Scream”. The painting itself is rendered in a style that appears as a kind of radical and systemic distortion. Many people feel like 2020 and actions throughout the year were radical and may involve systemic distortion for many years into the future. Unfortunately, with the prevalence of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, screaming really didn’t do much good during the last year. The world basically came to a standstill and remains mired in sporadic lockdowns. Some industries and therefore their workers have been disproportionately negatively impacted while others have benefited tremendously.
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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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