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I woke up this morning to a series of articles “celebrating” a momentous one-year anniversary. On March 23, 2020, the S&P 500 reached its mid-COVID-19 pandemic bottom. A year later, there are a lot of numbers to celebrate. For example, the S&P 500 and Dow have both bounced more than 75% from their March of 2020 bottoms. The NASDAQ is up over 90%.

For those of you who work with retirement programs within your organization, today is a good opportunity to pause – if just for a brief moment before getting back to the rat race – and appreciate what your employees have survived and what you’ve accomplished. Our world changed overnight last March. Your organization likely changed almost as quickly. And many of your employees experienced an unsettling combination of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, disruption, and isolation. Read that sentence again. That’s a lot to overcome.

But we made it to today. A year later and not only have the markets strongly rebounded from their lows of a year ago, but hopefully your employees and organization are also feeling some bounce in their step. In our conversations with plan sponsors, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to briefly look back and then to turn our focus to the future. We cannot count on major stock indices rising by 75, 80, or 90% over the next year. Your employees need and want more focus on their savings rates, investment decisions, and broader financial needs. We appreciate the number of plan sponsors that have embraced the demand for those services and begun the process of meeting that demand. The next year will be different from the last one, but every year is important for a retirement participant.

Matthew Eickman
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