Archive of: Retirement

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Bullishness increases among investment managers

Investment managers currently view the markets as a "risk-on" opportunity, according to the latest Investment Manager Outlook, a quarterly survey conducted by global asset manager Russell Investments. The results underscore a turnaround from the previous quarter's IMO where uncertainty around risk prevailed.

This quarter, managers' bullishness for U.S. large cap growth equities stood at 69 percent (up from 58 percent bullishness in the December IMO). On the emerging markets front, there was a 10 percentage point increase in bullishness from last quarter to 66 percent in the current survey. Across style and cap levels, the latest IMO survey demonstrated managers' increased bullishness for equities.

March 2012

Survey indicates wide disparity about portfolio performance

Most financial advisers and their clients appear to hold different opinions on how a portfolio's performance should be measured, according Russell Investments' latest Financial Professional Outlook.
 
The majority of advisors (53 percent) indicated that they measure performance in terms of the portfolio's progress toward meeting the client's investing goals. But only 29 percent say clients also measure performance this way.

March 2012

Investor optimism surges

Overall U.S. investor optimism has surged to +40, back up to the February 2011 level and a significant jump from -45 recorded in the September poll, according to the February Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index.

Seventy-two percent say they are either better off or no worse off than they were nearly four years ago, before the last presidential election. Only 27 percent say they are worse off financially.

March 2012

Report shows private equity asset class resilience

Private equity remains an attractive asset class that has outperformed the public markets over the last three- and five-year periods, according to a report by PitchBook Data Inc.
 
The best performers were private equity funds, which outperformed venture capital, fund of funds, mezzanine and real estate. Within private equity, it has been the large buyout funds (more than $1 billion in assets) that have posted the best returns, with a 10 percent annual return since 2006.

March 2012

Pension plans continue modest improvement

The nation's 100 largest defined pension plans experienced a $20 billion improvement in funding during February thanks to a $24 billion improvement in asset value that offset a $4 billion increase in the pension benefit obligation, according to the latest Pension Funding Index from Milliman Inc.
 
"Slowly but steadily, these 100 pensions are chipping away at the pension funding deficit," said John Ehrhardt, co-author of the study. "Interest rates are again at an all-time low, driving pension liabilities to an all-time high. But, so far this year, we've seen enough positive asset performance to move funding status in the right direction."

March 2012

Pension plans begin 2012 by narrowing record deficit

The nation's 100 largest defined benefit pension plans experienced a $30 billion improvement during January, resulting in a funding deficit of $434 billion, according to Milliman Inc.'s latest Pension Funding Index.  The strong month follows a year in which interest rates drove the pension funding deficit to historic levels.

"Interest rates actually cooperated this month - or at least they didn't go down," said John Ehrhardt, co-author of the Milliman Pension Funding Study. "The lack of interest rate movement allowed these pensions to take advantage of a 2.49 percent investment gain for the month and recoup some of the funding loss that characterized 2011. With the Fed committing to low rates through the end of 2014, we're going to need more months like this if we are going to fill the pension funding gap."

February 2012

Cornerstone Financial Strategies relocates to downtown Tacoma

Cornerstone Financial Strategies LLC has moved from University Place to downtown Tacoma. The firm's new offices are at 505 Broadway, Suite 400.

Bill Pickles RFC and Brad Berger CFP, CLF, are Cornerstone's owners and managing partners.

January 2012

Weyerhaeuser announces tax treatment of 2011 dividends

For shareholders of Weyerhaeuser Co., the total dividend distributions made in 2011 per share of Common Stock Cusip 96216610 traded under the symbol WY are to be classified for income tax purposes as capital gain distribution.

The dividends, totaling 60 cents per share, were paid quarterly.

January 2012

Bad year for pensions ends badly

The nation's 100 largest defined benefit pension plans experienced a $59.7 billion decrease in funded status during December, according to Milliman Inc.'s latest Pension Funding Index. The bad month cemented a bad year, leaving the plans with a $236.4 billion increased deficit as corporate pensions faced record underfunding.

"This was an unusually dispiriting year for these 100 pensions," said John Ehrhardt, co-author of the Milliman Pension Funding Study. "Assets treaded water this year, producing an anemic $12.3 billion increase in value as record-low interest rates increased pension liabilities by $248.7 billion."

January 2012

Retirement cutbacks lead financial concerns of military families

A proposed overhaul of the military retirement system has emerged as the No. 1 financial worry of  military families, easily surpassing the economy and related issues in a ranking of top money concerns, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index.

Seventy-one percent of middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) said government cuts to military retirement benefits concerned them the most. The economy came in second at 54 percent, followed closely by the cost of gas at 51 percent.

December 2011
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