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Market Commentary

 

Q1|2022 Market Commentary

 

  • The quarter was rocky by recent temperate market standards. Markets are dealing with geopolitical risks, tightening monetary policy, rising interest rates, increasing inflation, and slowing US economic growth. By now, everyone is feeling the effects of inflation, the question remains how durable are the price increases. Some areas of the economy (shelter, travel-related, and transportation) may have stickier prices for the long-term. Areas such as energy and other commodities may be more apt to find equilibrium at lower rates as higher prices incentivize increased production and therefore increased supply driving prices down over time. For instance, US oil and gas offshore rig counts are currently trending higher. With inflation running hot (the central bank’s goal), wages are also trending higher, but still not keeping pace. This results in a loss of purchasing power for many households providing a possible growth headwind.
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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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