Explore our thinking about today's financial markets


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Millennial money drives 401(k) plan evolution

December 11, 2019  |  DCIO Only

Growing in number, the Millennial generation is having an impact on the evolution of 401(k) plan design.

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Millennial money drives 401(k) plan evolution

Capital Markets Outlook

Facing facts of a creeping contraction

Facing facts of a creeping contraction

October 15, 2019  |  Capital Markets Outlook

As late-cycle signals grow louder, it's time for tactical caution across asset classes.

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Fixed Income Outlook

Bond rally reflects economic uncertainty

Bond rally reflects economic uncertainty

October 23, 2019  |  Fixed Income Outlook

Global growth has cooled in 2019 as trade conflicts have taken a toll on international manufacturing, investments, and financial markets.

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Equity Outlook

A market of mixed messages

A market of mixed messages

September 27, 2019  |  Equity Outlook

We enter the final quarter of the year with a somewhat puzzling backdrop for equity investors.

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All posts
Millennial money drives 401(k) plan evolution

Millennial money drives 401(k) plan evolution

Growing in number, the Millennial generation is having an impact on the evolution of 401(k) plan design.

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Why stable value funds deserve a closer look

Why stable value funds deserve a closer look

Capital preservation strategies are not all alike, and plan sponsors need to carefully evaluate the options including money. market and stable value funds.

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Linking impact and performance

Linking impact and performance

Often, the same elements that create environmental and social benefits are driving positive financial performance.

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Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

We collaborate with institutions to examine and understand the financial impacts of sustainability.

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To reduce employee stress, increase wellness

To reduce employee stress, increase wellness

By offering financial wellness programs in the workplace, employers may help employees reduce money-related stress.

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Talking sustainability with CEOs

Talking sustainability with CEOs

We have ongoing dialogue with the management teams of companies in which we invest, across a wide range of sustainability-related topics.

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The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

The SECURE Act: Completing an unfinished masterpiece

Congress is considering the SECURE Act, which would enhance workplace retirement savings plans and extend access to millions of workers.

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Employers add student loan aid to retention toolkit

Employers add student loan aid to retention toolkit

College debt set a record high this year and many employers have added student loan aid to their benefit offerings to attract and retain workers.

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The 3 Rs of a retirement plan

The 3 Rs of a retirement plan

It is important to consider whether your retirement plan is on track to help meet the goals of retirement, recruitment, and retention.

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A success score for the 401(k)

A success score for the 401(k)

A traditional gauge of success for the 401(k) measures inputs, but companies also need to track outcomes to determine if a plan is successful.

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Actively targeting inflation risk for retirement savers

Actively targeting inflation risk for retirement savers

We explain why a dynamic approach to hedging inflation risk in a target-date fund may be a better way to protect a retirement nest egg.

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Investing for impact  |  Q&A with Stephanie Henderson

Investing for impact | Q&A with Stephanie Henderson

A member of Putnam's sustainable investing team describes her motivations for spreading ESG fluency throughout the firm to enhance fundamental insights.

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Market volatility returns to "old" normal

Market volatility returns to "old" normal

Our outlook for stock market volatility sees the levels reached in 2018 continuing, in part because these levels were close to the long-term norm.

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401(k) reaches milestone as innovation continues

401(k) reaches milestone as innovation continues

As the 401(k) reaches milestone, the workplace savings plan continues its evolution, adapting to changing demographics and savers’ needs.

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ESG Outlook for 2019

ESG Outlook for 2019

We see increasing evidence that systems thinking is becoming more prevalent and influential throughout corporations and the investment community.

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What November means for 2019

What November means for 2019

The events of November provide a fresh view of two key risks facing the economy in 2019 — a hawkish Fed and an escalation of the trade war.

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Bigger tax refunds may help boost retirement savings

Bigger tax refunds may help boost retirement savings

Projections of larger tax refunds this year could mean an increase in contributions to retirement savings.

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How company diversity can help performance

How company diversity can help performance

The potential to improve work performance is perhaps the most intriguing and least understood argument for diversity — and worth examining in more depth.

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Use wellness to gain wealth

Use wellness to gain wealth

New research found that a worker who focuses on wellness may save nearly $100,000 more for retirement than someone who does not manage their health well.

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October stock market volatility may signal a shift

October stock market volatility may signal a shift

Recent stock market volatility reflects a process of pricing in the fact that the global growth outlook has diverged.

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Calibrate equity allocations with higher savings rates

Calibrate equity allocations with higher savings rates

Evidence of higher savings rates by plan participants make it reasonable to consider lower equity allocations across the glide path of target-date funds.

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How to plan more rationally for longevity risk

How to plan more rationally for longevity risk

Longevity risk — the possibility outliving one's money in retirement — is a genuine risk, but data suggests that many people overestimate its likelihood.

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Retirement savings receive attention on Capitol Hill

Retirement savings receive attention on Capitol Hill

A number of bills to reform retirement savings are alive in the U.S. Congress this year.

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Shaping the curve in glide path design

Shaping the curve in glide path design

In designing an optimal glide path for a target date fund, it is critical to focus on portfolio size, investor time horizon, and volatility.

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Putting savers at the center of retirement plans

Putting savers at the center of retirement plans

In the past decade, investors have poured significant assets into target date funds, but savings in retirement vintages have been shrinking.

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Key risks to consider in glide path design

Key risks to consider in glide path design

Sequence risk is the key risk that target-date investment managers need to address along the glide path.

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Sustainable investing: Assessing the choices

Sustainable investing: Assessing the choices

Sustainable investing is growing in popularity, and investors should be thoughtful about choosing from a range of strategies and portfolios.

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HSAs may help workers save more for retirement

HSAs may help workers save more for retirement

Workers saving in both health savings accounts (HSAs) and 401(k) plans tend to save more in their 401(k).

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Are international stocks truly cheap?

Are international stocks truly cheap?

On the surface, U.S. stocks appear more expensive than international stocks, but a quantitative comparison reveals the impact of sector valuations.

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Health savings accounts could add to retirement wealth

Health savings accounts could add to retirement wealth

Educate employees about the advantages of a health savings accounts as a way to build flexible long-term assets.

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Just how cheap are European equities?

Just how cheap are European equities?

Our analysis finds that industry group weightings play a significant role in valuation discrepancies between U.S. and European equities.

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Are millennials with HSAs thinking about retirement?

Are millennials with HSAs thinking about retirement?

More millennials may contribute to health savings accounts in recent years, but they may not be aware of the potential to save for retirement.

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Looking for impact in CEO compensation

Looking for impact in CEO compensation

It’s important for investors to be able to understand how a company’s performance relates to CEO compensation.

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Longevity and medical costs – education for the great unknowns

Longevity and medical costs – education for the great unknowns

Understanding the impact of longevity and medical costs on savings requires education and a proactive approach to saving.

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Avoiding retirement savings shortfalls requires a team effort

Avoiding retirement savings shortfalls requires a team effort

Plan features, employer match, deferral rates, and investor education all work together to help participants avoid retirement savings shortfalls.

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Using and enhancing ESG investment data

Using and enhancing ESG investment data

ESG data is having investment impact but is still evolving, and stands to benefit from feedback offered by fundamental analysts.

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What motivates millennials to save for retirement?

What motivates millennials to save for retirement?

Recent surveys offer clues about retirement plan features and investment options that might motivate millennials to save more.

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Choosing an investing glide path to retirement

Choosing an investing glide path to retirement

When it comes to saving for retirement, a target-date fund offers a convenient feature — a glide path that systematically manages diversification.

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Are millennials missing out on retirement tax advantages?

Are millennials missing out on retirement tax advantages?

Millennials are saving at a higher rate than certain older generations, but may be missing out on the tax advantages of workplace savings plans.

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Why Brazil's crisis creates new concerns

Why Brazil's crisis creates new concerns

The revelations of May 17 may pose a threat to President Temer's administration, and therefore a threat to Brazil's short- and medium-term economic outlook.

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Why rates matter to stocks, too

Why rates matter to stocks, too

Risk factor analysis shows that equity market sectors that act like “bond proxies” may be more sensitive to changes in interest rates than bonds themselves.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the speaker, are subject to change with market conditions, and are not meant as investment advice.