The RPAG Scoop | February 2024

Welcome back to our monthly RPAG Scoop where we give you the latest and upcoming information in the retirement industry. February brings a new perspective of a love for the retirement industry as we give you events and new resources that you can use to love your career even more. Join us as we show you what's new with RPAG, give you the market update (as of the end of January) and let you in on some secrets at Nuveen and Transamerica.

What's New with RPAG! (1:37
Jeff Cheshier, our Vice President of Institutional Clients and Member Relations, has announced that our Regional Summit registration has been sent out. It is important to reserve your hotel rooms on time to avoid running out of availability! Our Summits are designed to cater to everyone on your team, with content that appeals to all audiences, so go register now!

Introducing the Milestone Program! This program is specifically created for new RPAG members, new employees of current members, or even current employees who are just starting to explore the RPAG portal and resources. It is designed to meet you where you are and ensure that you get the most out of our system. And don't miss out on the 12th episode of flexPATH Strategies' TDebrieF podcast! This special edition features a great debate between Matt Giovinazzo and Kellen Foley discussing controversial topics in the investment industry, such as TDFs vs. Managed Accounts.

Q4 M7 & 130 (8:39)
Our fearless leader of investments, CIO Jeff Elvander,  discusses the performance of various asset classes, highlighting the robust performance of US equity markets in 2023, driven largely by the "Magnificent 7" (M7) stocks. International equities, lacking such powerhouse stocks, saw a 15.6% gain for the year, with developed markets outperforming emerging ones. The fixed income market showed a swing to positive territory in 2023, with a 6.8% increase in the fourth quarter, attributed to declining rates. Sector-wise, growth stocks, especially in information technology, outperformed, while large-cap value stocks excelled for the entire year. The yield curve, notably flat or inverted, reflects expectations of the Fed lowering short-term rates in 2024. Diversification trends, as depicted in the kaleidoscope chart, underscore large growth's dominance in 2023 and commodities' decline due to decreasing inflation. The concentration of the M7 stocks, representing almost a third of the S&P 500, poses a potential risk to the market. As of January 30, US equities continued to be M7-driven, while international markets, lacking such powerhouse stocks, experienced a 1.3% decline. The Federal Reserve's actions and market expectations for rate adjustments are crucial considerations for 2024, with inflation remaining a factor influencing market dynamics.

Offerings from TIAA Nuveen (20:08)
Brendan McCarthy, Head of Retirement Investing at Nuveen, discusses the focus on lifetime income and decumulation in the 401k market and the potential for 401k recordkeepers to add lifetime income solutions. TIAA Nuveen is the largest US insurer based on AUM and has the largest annuity general account with a statutory capital of $52 billion, five times the government requirement. They are structured as a not-for-profit company and returns higher rates to investors through their loyalty bonus program. One of the greatest benefits of TIAA Nuveen is simplicity, as their fixed income annuity embeds seamlessly into any platform without explicit costs. 

The Reasons Behind Transamerica's Success (24:31)
Darren Zino, Head of Retirement Plan Sales at Transamerica, revealed that they had a phenomenal year in 2023, achieving record-breaking results in assets and cases, particularly in the pooled area. Their success can be attributed to their exceptional employees and their dedication to building a strong and talented workforce. With their 2024 plans in motion, Transamerica is poised to make a significant impact in the retirement industry in the upcoming year. Their commitment to excellence and their dedicated team will continue to set them apart as a leader in the field.

As we look forward to the year ahead, we are grateful for Transamerica and Nuveen's partnerships and the valuable contributions they bring to the retirement industry. Stay tuned for our next edition of the Scoop, coming March 4, where we will continue to bring you the latest updates and insights from the retirement industry.


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