Beyond Bulls & Bears

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Education

Health Savings Accounts: The Intersection of Retirement and Health Care

The increasing costs of health insurance borne by employees and employers alike has spawned a variety of plans and strategies to help manage the expenses. Among these are health savings accounts (HSAs), which first came onto the scene in 2003. HSAs allow individuals who are covered by high-deductible health plans to receive tax-preferred treatment of money they have saved for medical expenses. Kevin Murphy, national retirement plan strategist, explains the benefits of HSAs, and how they can even help build your retirement savings.

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Equity

Will 2018 be a Banner Year for US Bank Stocks?

“In our view, select large-capitalization US banks are likely to benefit from a growing US economy, higher interest rates and a less-restrictive regulatory environment. As a result, we think they have room to increase dividends and stock buybacks as earnings improve and capital is freed up.” – Matt Quinlan, Franklin Equity Group

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Fixed Income

Who Said the Rules of the Game Could Change Because LIBOR’s Going Away?

There’s been a lot of discussion in the fixed income world about the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and what might replace it. But what hasn’t been as widely discussed is an important consequence for investors in this space: changes to LIBOR language in new-issue and amended credit agreements—particularly how these changes are implemented. Mark Boyadjian, director of our Floating Rate Debt Group, and Reema Agarwal, vice president and director of research, explain.

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Equity

Why Tech-Sector Volatility Doesn’t Worry Us

While a few companies in the US technology space have been in the hot seat lately, Jonathan Curtis, vice president and research analyst with Franklin Equity Group, is largely unfazed. He said temporary “blips” affecting certain stocks are par for the course as consumers get used to new technologies—and how they impact our lives. He sees the overall long-term fundamental backdrop for the sector as sound.

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Fixed Income

Global Economic Perspective: April

“The extent to which the global economy’s upturn is threatened by the uncertainty over trade policy is clearly the main issue preoccupying many investors. Our view is that market sentiment often swings to extremes in these circumstances, running well ahead of actual events, and the risk of a major disruption to global trade remains low.” - Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

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Equity

Symmetry Policy: How to Adapt to a More Volatile Market Environment

“Unusually subdued levels of volatility during 2017 possibly lured some investors into a false sense of security. But as precipitous market moves in early February and late March suggested a return to more historically normal levels of volatility, the question for investors now is how to adapt their approach to the new environment.” Dylan Ball, Templeton Global Equity Group

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Multi-Asset

How Safe Is NAFTA?

“With trade skirmishes opening up on multiple fronts, we think the United States may feel increased pressure to get a NAFTA deal done ahead of this summer. That’s when the Mexican presidential election and US mid-term election campaigning will be in full swing. Otherwise, the United States risks attempting to win a trade war on multiple fronts, which tends to end badly if history is any guide.” – Stephen Lingard, Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions

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Education

Implications of DOL Fiduciary Rule Decisions and RESA Legislation

Some new developments in Washington and recent court rulings have implications for those saving and investing for retirement. Drew Carrington, head of Institutional Defined Contribution at Franklin Templeton Investments along with Michael Doshier, head of retirement marketing, examine the status of The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA) and what it might mean for both plan sponsors and participants, and recap the latest court rulings impacting the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule.