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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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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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