Researching Retirement: The Impact of Inflation, Interest Rates, and Market Risks

KEY TAKEAWAYS Retirees investing in short-term, nominal fixed income are more vulnerable to inflation increases or interest rate drops. An income-focused allocation can provide more-predictable retirement consumption by addressing both risks. Poor stock market returns early in retirement drastically increase the probability of running out of assetslater in life, especially for retirement glide paths with […]

Four Ways to Improve the Probability of a Good Retirement

Around the world, individuals are being asked to take on greater responsibility for their own retirement. In the US, for example, a combination of limited Social Security funding and a reduction in the number of defined benefit (DB) employer plans—historically, the primary retirement savings vehicle for many—is causing investors to make decisions they have never had to face about […]

Is it time to sell stocks?


KEY TAKEAWAYS Soaring inflation and record market highs may leave investors wondering whether it’s time to adjust their portfolios. Researchers have examined a wide range of timing strategies based on earnings, dividends, interest rates, economic growth, and more. A recent Morningstar report showed that investors may be better off steering clear of tactical asset allocation […]

Navigating Geopolitical Events


GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS AND THEIR IMPACT Geopolitical events like military or economic conflicts can affect stock markets in many ways. These events are normally widely followed by investors. We believe current market prices quickly incorporate expectations about the effects of these events on economies and companies. Our investment approach centers on using information in current market […]

Is $22 Trillion a Tipping Point?

KEY TAKEAWAYS National debt is generally a slow-moving variable whose expected value should be incorporated in market prices. The evidence suggests there has not been a strong relation between country debt and equity market returns. The challenge of trying to outguess the markets based on macroeconomic indicators can come at the opportunity cost of missing […]

Why a Stock Peak Isn’t a Cliff

 Many investors may think a market high is a signal stocks are overvalued or have reached a ceiling. But they may be surprised to find out that the average returns for the S&P 500 Index one, three, and five years after a new market high are similar to the average returns for the index over […]

Market Review 2021: A Recovery Amid Challenges

KEY TAKEAWAYS Stock markets continued to climb higher in 2021, with the S&P 500 hitting a series of all-time closing highs and ending the year near a record. While COVID-19 continued to dominate headlines, concerns also focused on inflation and its potential impact. Investors saw volatility in areas ranging from cryptocurrencies to so-called meme stocks, […]

ETF Options on the Rise in 529 Plans


Paul CurleyDirector of Savings Research, ISS Market Intelligence Paul Curley, CFA, is Director of Savings Research at ISS Market Intelligence. He oversees 529 and ABLE market data, research, events, and digital products and services for institutional clients, including the annual 529 Conference. He authors weekly, quarterly, and annual business intelligence publications on the college financial […]

Tuning Out the Noise


For investors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the relentless stream of news about markets. Being bombarded with data and headlines presented as affecting your financial well-being can evoke strong emotional responses from even the most experienced investors. Headlines from the so-called lost decade–the 2000s, when the S&P 500 ended below where it […]

Myth-Busting with Momentum: How to Pursue the Premium

Nearly 30 years after its formal discovery,1 the appeal of stock price momentum2 remains in the eye of the beholder. Some see its outsize historical premium, 9.1% per year in the US,3 as validation for investing in momentum-focused strategies. Others point to the extreme turnover and occasional catastrophic outcomes4 for the premium as insurmountable hurdles […]

All-Time-High Anxiety


KEY TAKEAWAYS Financial journalists periodically stoke investors’ record-high anxiety by suggesting the laws of physics apply to financial markets—that what goes up must come down. But shares are not heavy objects kept aloft through strenuous effort. They are perpetual claim tickets on companies’ earnings and dividends. If stocks have a positive expected return, reaching record […]

Do ESG Ratings Get High Marks?

KEY TAKEAWAYS As interest in ESG investing grows, so too do the ways in which it is measured and reported. ESG ratings providers frequently disagree on company ratings. Because ESG ratings often look at dozens of variables, and because detailed methodologies and score attributions are generally not publicly available, understanding where discrepancies come from can […]