2020 Vision: Looking Back and Ahead

Wow, what a year and how appropriate to be using 20/20 hindsight as a metaphor as we look back across the past 12 months. We will all remember very clearly the struggles and challenges our world collectively faced. Investors were initially giddy to begin the new decade and markets rallied over the first 6 weeks of the year. Then it all came unglued.


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3Q20 Target Date Performance

After a very rough 1st quarter and a very strong bounce-back during 2nd quarter, the 3rd quarter was a bit more normalized, albeit still relatively strong. Performance during 3Q20 was, across-the-board, positive and enjoyed the springboard of a strong July and August despite a bit of a pullback in September


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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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