The Retirement Channel

Do Your Target-Date Funds Measure Up to Rising Rates?

Rising US interest rates could pose a challenge for target-date funds (TDFs) that concentrate on “core” US fixed-income exposure. Diversifying across a broad range of bond markets and strategies can create a cushion in a rising-rate environment.

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Up 3K, Worse Than Forecast

This morning's seasonally adjusted 229K new claims, up 3K from the previous week's figure, was above the forecast of 225K. From the release: "The claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal."

When Clients Are Nervous – and You Are Too!

A number of our clients are watching the markets and becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the ups and downs. We have many retirees and soon-to-retire clients and 2008 is still fresh in their minds. They fear another disastrous downswing in their portfolios.

Who Shall Rule the Planning Profession? Competition versus Consolidation

If there’s one topic that is guaranteed to stir up passions in the financial planning/advisory profession it’s consolidation of associations and credentials. Consider some of the issues that are being debated today.

How a Star NFL Player Achieved Financial Success

He was on the receiving end of the passes from Drew Brees that led the New Orleans Saints to victory in the 2009 Super Bowl. But what distinguishes Marques Colston from his fellow ex-NFL players and other retired athletes is his successful post-professional career.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: February Real Retail Sales

Note: With the release of February Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in February decreased by 0.1% (0.07% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, decreased by 0.22%.

A Curve in the Fiduciary Road: What the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' Decision May Mean for Advisors

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision essentially wipes the Fiduciary Rule off the books. But, that doesn’t mean everything returns to the way it was before the Rule.

Understanding the Confucian in Xi's Populism

China has dropped norms to allow President Xi Jinping to remain in power after his second term ends. While worrisome at first blush, the populist turn and consolidation of power likely has near-term economic and financial market benefits, and longer-term political risks. Thornburg's Lei Wang weighs in on the populist turn in China, which is among a growing contingent of populist nations.

Three Emerging Trends That Are Upending Our Profession

Last year, I made a number of bold predictions about how the advisory profession is evolving, and what firms are going to have to do to stay ahead of the curve. How have my predictions held up? Here are three transformations that will force every advisory firm to adapt.

Five Photo Shoot Tips for the Perfect Website

If you’re giving your website a makeover, an investment in photos of your actual team (as opposed to tacky stock photos) is a great way to give it a personalized feeling. Here are five things to do and (more importantly) what to avoid to have it come out like the perfect Ansel Adams.

U.S. Workforce Recovery

We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for February. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 313K.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Industrial Production Up 1.1% in February

Today's report on Industrial Production for February shows a 1.1% increase month-over-month, which was much better than the consensus of 0.3%. The year-over-year change is 4.35%, up from last month's YoY increase.

Why Active Management Failed…and Didn’t

Passive equity strategies have seen massive inflows over the last decade, in part owing to active management’s struggles. But a closer look at the story within the story suggests that leaving active out of the equation could be leaving money on the table.

Demographic Trends for the 50-and-Older Work Force

Note: This commentary has been updated with the latest numbers from last week's Employment Report.

This is not the scenario that would have been envisioned a generation ago for the "Golden Years" of retirement. Consider: Today nearly one in three of the 65-69 cohort and about one in five of the 70-74 cohort are in the labor force.

Performance Measurement: How to Do It If We Must

Assessing our portfolios’ performance is a necessary activity, but by being aware that measurement over shorter time horizons is dominated by noise, we can better resist the natural human instinct to “do something”—typically selling the underperforming investment at exactly the wrong time—if near-term performance falls below expectations.