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Let’s take a look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on target-date funds, including its impact on assets under management and performance during the first quarter.
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Target-date funds recovered in popularity over the ensuing decade, but that doesn’t mean investors forgot what happened during the financial crisis. During the first quarter of 2020, target-date fund assets fell 15% from $1.37 trillion to $1.17 trillion as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated. Investors pulled out their assets early on during the crisis in an attempt to safeguard their portfolio.
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Fiduciaries should keep several things in mind:
During uncertain times, fiduciaries may face a lot of client phone calls and concerns. It’s common for investors approaching retirement age to feel blindsided by these sudden market downturns, but it’s equally important to stress the value of sticking with a long-term plan. You may also want to discuss making any adjustments to portfolio risk moving forward.
Fiduciaries should take the time to review client portfolios and ensure that they are assigning the right level of risk given their clients’ risk tolerance and return expectations. As part of that exercise, it’s important to take a look at target-date fund allocations and ensure that they aren’t too aggressive despite clients looking to retire at the fund’s vintage date.
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