Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Q2 Retirement Market Recap - Stocks and Bonds Advance Again in the 2nd Quarter

As of June 30, 2017 U.S. equities advanced for the seventh consecutive quarter, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 3.09% in the second quarter and 9.34% year to date. With the economic expansion and the bull market for stocks both in their eighth year, it is understandable that many investors are nervous about a market correction. Equity prices are reflecting a very solid U.S. economy, operating at full potential and full employment. Most of the economic data followed by investors has been positive:
  • surges in Leading Economic Indicators, and the Small Business Optimism Index;
  • accelerating global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast;
  • rising housing starts;
  • strong Purchasing Managers Indexes (manufacturing and service sectors), strong hiring, declining unemployment, record low weekly unemployment claims and high quit rate;
  • low inflation;
  • strong consumer data: growth in average hourly earnings/real disposable personal income, household balance sheets, savings rates, credit scores, and record low household financial
  • obligations ratio; and
  • strong retail sales.
Read the Q2 Retirement Market Recap to learn more about the 2nd quarter stocks and bonds performance, and also review tips on "Understanding Non-Governmental 457(b) and 457(f) Plans".

If you have any questions, or would like to begin talking to a retirement plan advisor, please get in touch by calling (855) 882-9177 or e-mail us at sbs@hanys.org.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

11 Questions Employers Should Ask About Stable Value Funds

Stable value investments have been a core investment option in defined contribution retirement plans since the 1970s and are an attractive alternative to money market investments due to steady returns and principal preservation guarantees. Stable value funds have proven their worth to investors during the protracted period of low interest rates present since the recent financial crisis. Consider the following comparison of 2007-2016 calendar year total return for the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX)[i] to the SBS MetLife Stable Value Fund.

1. What is a stable value fund?