December 22, 2014

New Year's Resolutions: The Four Ps

by Vicky Schroebel, Director of Business Development

If you're like many of the people I meet, you just made a New Year's resolution. And your resolution was most likely about something you want to do more of, less of, or differently. Now, if your resolution has to do with your body, I encourage you to share it — right away — with a friend or mentor, to increase the odds that you will act on it and succeed.

If, however, you made a financial resolution (spend less, save more, etc.), then I urge you to tell your financial advisor. There are many financial New Year's resolutions that I hope you might make over time, but let's start with the most important one.

December 19, 2014

Week in Review: Patience the new Fed watchword

For the week ended 19 December 2014

  • Oil price weakness continues
  • US Fed vows to be patient
  • US data show strength
  • Russian ruble nosedives
  • Japan's export volume falls

Fluctuating oil prices, the tumbling Russian ruble and weak economic data from China, Japan and the eurozone weighed on financial markets early in the week. Resilient US data provided limited support for investors increasingly nervous about global economic trends.

December 12, 2014

Are there new key factors to consider when making investment decisions?

by Kristen Colvin, Director of Defined Contribution Institutional Platforms

When asked to identify key factors that drive investment decisions, 2014 MFS DC Pulse survey participants rate past performance as the most critical factor, followed by risk then asset class as a third consideration. Past performance has historically been one of the key pieces of information readily available to participants. But while it is a very important component of understanding an investment strategy, past performance is extremely end-point sensitive. As risk and asset class are the next major considerations, according to the survey, are there other important factors that should be considered when making investment decisions?

December 10, 2014

A gift that keeps on giving

by Vicky Schroebel, Director of Business Development

Here's a gift idea for families with children: a giving account to teach children the joy and opportunity of giving. Whether a parent increases an allowance by $1 a month to fund the account, or a grandparent gives $50 once a year, young children can learn from, and enjoy, having their own "giving account" to manage.

November 25, 2014

How much do your contributions influence your retirement success?

by Jonathan Hubbard, Director of Defined Contribution Institutional Platforms

In an earlier post that launched our four-part Retirement Fluency video series, "What Are the Ingredients of a Successful Retirement Outcome?" , we introduced the concept of the Retirement Equation: contributions + investment gains – withdrawals = total balance at retirement. In this second installment of the series, "The Value of Contributions in a Successful Retirement Outcome," we take a closer look at contributions.