Comparing Passive Target Date Funds

We’ve talked a fair amount about Passive vs Active TDFs, which refers to the type of underlying vehicles the TDF utilizes. (Note: There’s also Blend TDF which use a mix of active as passive vehicles). While these passive TDFs each follow their own glidepath, the holdings themselves are not necessarily homogeneous. In the following we’ll compare the underlying exposures of the top passive TDFs.


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1Q20 TDF GlidePath Changes

As we’ve talked about in a couple previous posts, TDF issuers have the right to alter their glide path at any given time. Any given quarter may see numerous or few (if any) changes within the industry. Despite the tumultuous market in the 1st quarter, the industry saw minimal glide path changes.


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1Q20 Target Date Flows

As we all know by now, the first quarter was a tumultuous time in the market. Investors were spooked for the first time in a while, which can affect flows. Additionally, with annual retirement plan reviews occurring in late 2019 and early 2020—in advance of this surge in volatility—we believe it is possible that many plan sponsors may have switched to a new target date offering.


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5 Year Target Date Performance – What’s Up?

While investors had a pretty easy ride heading into 2020, they definitely experienced some bumpiness during the tumultuous 1st quarter. Even with this horrible first quarter taken into account, though, most target date investors have still experienced positive performance over a longer-term five-year view. However, looking back over the past years also illustrates some odd anomalies in performance.


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Target Date Fund Revelations During Market Upsets

Here at TargetQ Views our goal is analysis and thoughts on retirement investing, so it was a pleasure (and a lot of fun) to work with reporter Randall Smith on his article “What the Market Selloff Revealed About Target-Date Funds” published in the Wall Street Journal on April 6th, 2020.


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