Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 21st, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Many Millennials Think Short-Term About Investing
A new survey report from AMG Funds finds Millennials are eager to start investing and just coming into their prime earning years, yet they are also fairly uninformed about the best strategies for planning the long-term financial future. Case in point, Millennials with money already in the markets often display overly conservative allocations—but they speak of higher return expectations at the same time, compared with older counterparts.  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Nuveen Adds Direct Real Estate to TDFs
Nuveen added access to direct real estate investments to its target-date fund (TDF) series. The TIAA-CREF Lifecycle Funds will devote about 1% to 5% of asset allocations to real estate investments, which will be made through TH Real Estate.  Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
ERISA Fiduciary Training Platform Launches
Xponential Growth Solutions and ERISA Smart have collaborated to create and launch Fiduciary Education. With the program, plan sponsors will learn directly from David Donaldson, former senior Department of Labor (DOL) investigator and CEO of ERISA Smart.  Read more >
Economic Events
In the week ending April 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 244,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 234,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 243,000, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 247,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.97%, down from 4.08% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.23%, down from 3.34%.

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Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow closed 174.22 points (0.85%) higher at 20,578.71, the NASDAQ gained 53.74 points (0.92%) to finish at 5,916.78, and the S&P 500 was up 17.67 points (0.76%) at 2,355.84. The Russell 2000 climbed 17.01 points (1.24%) to 1,384.14, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 193.05 points (0.79%) to 24,590.29.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, and on the NASDAQ, nearly 3.0 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues more than 2 to 1 on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 4/32, increasing its yield to 2.231%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 7/32, bringing its yield up to 2.884%.

Court Rules For CVS In Stable Value ERISA Challenge
A district court judge has dismissed an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit filed against CVS Health Systems, representing the third victory for the company in the case. Summarizing its decision, the court observes, “It is well established that the test of prudence … is one of conduct, and not a test of the result of the performance of the investment.”  Read more >
ESG Strategies in Most Institutional Investor Portfolios
Most institutions (80%) have an environmental, social and governance (ESG) component as part of their investment strategies, according to a survey of 475 global institutional investors in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific, including some of the largest pension plans, endowments and foundations, commissioned by State Street Global Advisors. More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents say integration of ESG has significantly improved returns. Read more >
Public Pension Shift to Alternatives Results in More Volatility
A shift to more complex investments has significantly increased fees, volatility, and potential losses, according to a report by The Pew Charitable Trusts examining investments by the 73 largest state public pension funds. The analysis also estimates that $4 billion in investment fees are unreported each year.  Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first U.S. Vice President. In 1836, General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. This battle decided the independence of Texas. In 1862, the U.S. Congress established the U.S. Mint in Denver, Colorado. In 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington, D.C. In 1898, the Spanish-American War began. In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon. In 1977, “Annie” opened on Broadway. In 1984, in France, it was announced that doctors had found virus believed to cause AIDS. In 1994, Jackie Parker became the first woman to qualify to fly an F-16 combat plane. In 2009, UNESCO launched The World Digital Library, an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress. 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Hand yoga poses that allegedly help with health and other issues. Read more >
Hiccups can occur at inopportune times. Read more >
Such a small tree; such a big mistake. Read more >
Somewhere between Houston and Calgary, a man was eating his meal on a United Airlines flight when something fell on his head. He reached up to grab it, and it was a scorpion. He dropped it on his plate in alarm. When he went to pick it off his plate, it stung him. According to several news reports, it mostly got his fingernail and the man is ok.


In Weiner, Arkansas, a 10-year-old girl received a goat for her birthday. Her father said he didn’t approve at first. But, the following weekend, the girl awakened to the goat jumping on her. She saw smoke; the garage was on fire. The girl was able to awaken her parents and the family got out of the house. The father told Inside Edition, “I didn’t approve at first. But, he’ll be here from now on.”


In Sperry, Oklahoma, the police chief issued himself a speeding ticket after being caught on video. He admits he’s not sure he would have issued the ticket if not for the video, and that he had a “reason for being in a hurry,” according to the Associated press. Nonetheless, he says he must “be held accountable.” He wrote himself a more than $300 ticket and says he’ll pay it in full.


In Northumbria, UK, a man tweeted a selfie of himself noting that it was his last day as a single man. The problem is, he was wearing mirrored sunglasses, which clearly showed he was driving while taking the selfie. The Metro UK reports that police are now looking for him and have tweeted him back saying “please get in touch and we’ll send you your wedding present. £200 fine & 6 points.”


In Kilkenny, Ireland, one hotel may have the best customer service in the world. As a prank, when a man booked his stay at the hotel, he added a special requirement that the hotel put a framed picture of Christopher Walken as he appeared in Pulp Fiction in his hotel room. He never thought the hotel would do it, according to, but when he arrived, there it was.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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