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River FOURcast: April 2020

River FOURcast: April 2020

We believe we are in the Downturn phase of our FOURcast process, although we recognize the need for judgement when using this framework. Downturns are usually preceded by very high equity valuations, gradually weakening economics and poor credit conditions.

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Retirement Update – April 2020

Retirement Update – April 2020

The novel coronavirus and government reactions to it drove all aspects of markets throughout March. Equities saw some of the sharpest daily moves ever (up and down), with US markets down 14% for the month and 21% across the quarter. Long-term corporate bond yields rose for the month as historically low Treasury yields were offset by rising credit spreads due to fears of defaults in a COVID-19 economy.

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Investment Commentary and Outlook as of April 3rd

Investment Commentary and Outlook as of April 3rd

We are optimistic that we are seeing the end of Phase 1, getting the virus under control. Italy and possibly Spain are getting closer to leveling off, as the strict social distancing protocols put in place in those countries looks to be having the right impact. It is early days, but we can see similar evidence in the US in Seattle, San Francisco and even New York.

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Retirement Plan Provisions in the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

Retirement Plan Provisions in the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

On March 27th, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act, a massive stimulus package in response to the ongoing public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the many provisions included in the bill, there are several relating to retirement plans. This article provides a quick summary of these provisions.

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Innovative Investment Strategies in Volatile Times

Innovative Investment Strategies in Volatile Times

We find ourselves in difficult times. The global effects of COVID-19 have wreaked havoc on investment markets, on daily life and on institutional investment pools such as pension funds and endowments. Treasury yields have plummeted, credit spreads have widened, and major equity indices have fallen to levels not seen since 2016. In times like these, many investors are wondering how they can possibly find their way out…

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Investment Commentary and Outlook as of April 3rd

Investment Commentary and Outlook as of March 23rd

This week saw further disruption to daily life in the US and around the world. Equity markets continued to fall, credit spreads for all types widened significantly, volatility remains high and market liquidity is very poor.

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Pension Plan Annuity Purchase Update – Q4 2019

Pension Plan Annuity Purchase Update – Q4 2019

Total pension buyout sales surpassed $11.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, an increase of 6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2018 and the highest quarterly total since Q4 2012. Total 2019 sales reached $28 billion, an increase of 5% from 2018 totals…

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Retirement Update – April 2020

Retirement Update – March 2020

Over the month, pension plan discount rates fell even further from their already all-time lows. Equity markets were off to a positive start but, largely as a result of panic sell-offs surrounding the spread of coronavirus, took a drastic dive the final week of February…

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