“An object at rest or in uniform motion will remain in that state unless an external force acts upon it.”
Newton’s First Law of Motion, 1687, translated from Latin
Isaac Newton was experimenting with inanimate objects when he discovered the laws of motion. But we in the retirement industry know only too well that these laws also apply to human nature. In an age when it is up to employees to take action in order to build retirement security, inertia has been a major impediment.
Fortunately, the leading behavioral economists of our time are showing us how to harness the power of inertia to work for retirement savers instead of against them. Read more
The Health-Wealth Connection – Understanding the power of a physically and fiscally fit workforce
I was at an industry meeting recently speaking to a group of employers, retirement plan record keepers, and financial advisors about the state of retirement readiness in America as we move from old America (working for one employer and defined benefit pension plans) to the new America (multiple jobs and defined contribution plans).
The central theme of the talk was that while Americans are not saving enough, viable solutions to get more Americans on track are becoming increasingly clear. We just need to move faster. Read more
Five years ago, my firm, CREATE Research, first partnered with Principal Global Investors to examine trends within the asset-management industry. Many things have changed since 2009; one of the biggest changes has been how defined benefit and defined contribution plans have altered their approach to asset-allocation strategies. The infographic below brilliantly details how investor behaviors have shifted from “wants” to “needs” over the past five years. I encourage you to download the entire survey, entitled “Asset Allocation Leaders, Laggards, and Newcomers: 2009 – 2013.” You can read the full trends analysis and other research at create.principalglobal.com.
Infographic Read more
Preferences change. Tastes develop over time. You probably appreciate more and different foods than you did when you were a child. You change your diet to meet your needs – foods to benefit your heart, your cholesterol, your weight. You may even have a special menu designed specifically for you by a doctor or dietitian The investment industry is seeing a marked shift towards an era where this kind of evolution and customization will be key to success.
For years, investment managers have taken alpha to mean “beating a benchmark.” Alpha, as traditionally defined, is the excess return earned above a market index through active management. The manager was given a target and expected to beat it. That flavor of alpha is now giving way to solutions alpha. Read more
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an idea of how much income your retirement savings could deliver when you retire? Well, legislators are looking to make this information available right at your fingertips through The Lifetime Income Disclosure Act.
Details of proposed legislation:
The intent of the bill is to help participants of defined contribution plans understand how their current account balance translates to monthly lifetime income at retirement. In other words, participants would receive a snapshot into their financial future in just one glance.
Plan sponsors of defined contributions plans (subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)) would be required to illustrate how a participant’s account balance would translate into guaranteed monthly payments at retirement. The monthly income estimates take into account the participant’s current accrued value of benefits, with no future earnings or contributions assumed in the income calculation.
Maybe it’s just me, but people always seems to be clamoring for my opinion. For example, my receipt from the automotive repair place tempts me with a $5 coupon toward my next oil change if I call and complete a survey. Or I get calls on my home phone (so 2008, I know) pelting me with questions about my political views, or even more intrusive, my choice in paper products. It’s enough to drive me off the questionnaire cliff.
So you might think it’s strange that I want to talk to you about surveys, or even encourage you to complete one. But I have a good reason why. When you take the 403(b) plan survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA), you’ll get much more out of it than a discounted oil change. Read more