1st Quarter 2021 Glidepath Changes: An Overview of the Landscape

There's a plethora of different glidepaths within the target date fund (TDF) industry. Issuers create the path of their choosing based on many different factors. Along with this, issuers also have the right to change the glidepath whenever they want. These changes can be wholesale glidepath changes or more fringe-type changes. While some quarters see no changes within the industry, in 1Q21 there were a handful, possibly corresponding with year-end reviews by the individual issuers.


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One Year Later

It’s now been just over a year from that chilling day in March 2020 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 13% while the S&P 500 simultaneously fell 12%. The pandemic had only just been declared as such and we were in our first week of lockdowns and mandatory social distancing. While this historic one-day drop, occurring in a market that still would not arrive at its bottom for another week, certainly kept analysts’ eyes on the screen the fact is that most folks remained less worried about the stock market than they did about the rapid and widespread shuttering of thousands of businesses.


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Stable Value Funds in TDFs

For the first time in a couple years, the rumblings that we may be in a rising interest rate environment have reappeared. The 10-year treasury rate is now up about 1% off its all-time lows in August 2020 (which equates to about a 7.5% decline in the price). With that, we are still in a very low-rate environment, with the 10-year rate still only at about 1.6%, which matches the lowest rates from previous dips in July 2012 and July 2016. Nevertheless, pundits and investors are seemingly starting to worry a bit.


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Series and Paths Come and Go

Here on TargetQ Views we often talk about series and paths, which enjoy a symbiotic relationship but remain distinct. But, before digging in, let’s take a quick refresher.


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