US Productivity Puzzle Could Lead to Upside Surprise

A first-quarter productivity slump fueled concerns about the US economy, but second-quarter labor and company earnings data indicate better productivity and underlying growth. In short, the data point to a US economic cycle that’s broader and stronger than it appears on the surface.

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Is Dollar-Cost Averaging the Cure for Market Jitters?

The US stock market is at record highs, and warnings of a downturn are loud and shrill on every side. Even if you’re convinced you should own more stock, you may find it difficult to buy now. What if you invest your money and the market suddenly drops?

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Laddering Municipal Bonds Isn’t the Solution to Rising Rates

We think investors who build laddered portfolios to protect against rising rates will be disappointed—by locking in low yields with traditional ladders or by hidden risks of higher-yielding ladders. In our view, actively managed portfolios are better able to take advantage of changing markets.

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Are US Stocks Heading for a Fall?

It’s a truism that what goes up, must come down—but when, and by how much? That matters, especially if you’re talking about the US stock market.

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Multiple Employer DC Plans: Safety in Numbers?

Smaller US defined contribution (DC) plans face a host of fee difficulties simply because of the size of their plans. This has led to a growing interest in multiple employer plans as a potential cost-effective solution.

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Rethinking Revenue Sharing

While revenue sharing may be a legitimate way to pay for the costs of operating a plan, both US courts and the Department of Labor (DOL) have made it clear that plan sponsors have a significant responsibility as fiduciaries to fully understand, evaluate and monitor their revenue-sharing arrangements and determine whether they are reasonable. Therefore, [...]

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Coming to Grips with Excess Revenue Sharing

US defined contribution (DC) plan fees have been hit with heavy scrutiny recently—from Department of Labor (DOL) disclosure regulations to a rash of lawsuits that have cost several large plan sponsors millions of dollars in settlements and judgments. But perhaps one of the most interesting fee issues today focuses on revenue sharing.

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Who’s Afraid of Low, Low Rates?

Falling yields on Treasuries are often seen as a signal of a weakening economy that could undermine stocks. We think there are other explanations that don’t threaten the outlook for equities.

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Muni Investors Should Watch Both Ends of the Curve

In early 2013, we urged investors to take a hard look at the interest-rate risk in their bond portfolios. If they didn’t do it then, they have a chance to do it now.

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How Tax Savings from a College Savings Plan Could Pay for a Year of College

The option to front-load funding makes a tax-deferred college savings plan is a great way to avoid taxes on the future growth of funds earmarked for higher-education expenses. We project that the taxes avoided over a 10-year savings horizon could pay for a full year of college.

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