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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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Trump Orders DOL to Re-Examine Fiduciary Rule

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.

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Brexit Fears Unfounded As EU Exit Could Take Years

Last week’s vote by the British electorate to end its 43-year membership in the European Union seems to have taken just about everybody by surprise, but the aftermath could not have been more predictable. The uncertainty of how, exactly, Europe and Britain will manage a complex divorce over the coming decade sent global markets reeling. London’s blue chip index, the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100, lost 4.4% of its value in one day, while Germany’s DAX market lost more than 7%. The British pound sterling is getting crushed (down 14% against the yen, 10% against the dollar).

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