Wild market swings: New index highs and steep drops. Fiscal stimulus. Retirement concerns. Yield curve worries. Trade wars and tariffs. 2018 seemingly had it all—and so did our blog, which addressed a wide array of the year’s hot-button issues, establishing new readership records in the process. As 2018 draws to a close, take a look back with us at our top ten favorite blog posts of the year—the thought leadership pieces that sparked the highest levels of engagement among our readers.

It’s not just the tweets. Some things are different. Fiscal stimulus in the U.S. and tariffs imposed by the Trump administration make today's late-cycle bull market stand apart from previous ones. Our chief investment strategist, Erik Ristuben, explores whether this means a different ending may be in store as well.

Outcomes are the new alpha Helping advisors reach their goals by focusing on outcomes—rather than some short-term benchmark—is the only true measurement of success, says Mark Spina, head of advisor and intermediary solutions for North America.

Record-breaking contributions and returns for $20 billion club Our director of client strategy and research, Justin Owens, goes deep on what made 2017 a record-smashing year for contributions and investment earnings among the largest U.S.-listed defined-benefit plan sponsors.

Are recession risks increasing in the U.S.? Is the clock running out on one of the longest economic expansions in U.S. history? In this post, Senior Investment Strategist Paul Eitelman assesses the risk of a U.S. recession over the next 12 months by evaluating economic growth factors, corporate debt levels, the state of the labor market and U.S. Federal Reserve policy.

Value of an advisor: 4-point checklist What do advisors need to do in order to deliver value beyond the fee or commission they charge? Focus on planning, prioritization, portfolio alignment and personalization, says Brad Jung, North America’s managing director of sales for advisor and intermediary solutions.

The bond market is waving a flag that we should pay attention to The current trajectory toward an inverted U.S. Treasury yield curve has potential recessionary implications, says Kevin Turner, managing director and global head of client strategy and research. Why? Historically, one of the more reliable precursors of recessions has been the slope of the yield curve.

Confessions of a portfolio manager: Preparing for a market crash With speculation over when the next bear market will kick in on the rise, Senior Portfolio Manager David Vickers discusses the difficulties of predicting stock market downturns, while offering up four watchpoints that could help fuel the next crash.

Taxable trusts: Fear the reaper Helping clients invest smartly around taxes is an excellent way for advisors to differentiate themselves, explains Frank Pape, senior director of our portfolio consulting group for advisor and intermediary solutions. While most advisors focus on the impact of taxes to individuals and families, taxable trusts are an additional area where new clients can be gained, he says.

7 attributes of an excellent DC plan In this post, Holly Verdeyen, senior director of defined contribution strategy, unveils the seven key attributes that we believe make a defined contribution plan successful.

How do the rich get richer? It’s probably not from chasing performance A new study suggests that earning wealth through the stock market may be better accomplished by focusing on slow and steady long-term growth, rather than chasing top-tier performance. Portfolio Analyst Stella Liu explains why the findings of this research are more important than ever amid today’s market backdrop.

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