Trade tensions boiled, then simmered. Brexit waxed and waned. The yield curve inverted and un-inverted. Global banks paused, then turned dovish. Markets sold off at the beginning, and surged to new records near the end. And the Russell Investments Blog covered it all: the highs, lows and in-betweens of the investment world in 2019, served with a healthy dose of the in-depth analysis and data-driven insights we hope you’ve come to expect.

As the year winds 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.

Battling market uncertainty: Is the best offense a good defense?

Whoever said that the best defense is a good offense probably wasn’t thinking about financial markets. Chief Investment Strategist Erik Ristuben explains why we believe a defensive stance is appropriate in today's late-cycle environment.

Five key ways advisors deliver value in 2019

What is the value of a financial advisor in 2019? We break down the full value of an advisor’s services in this simple-to-follow equation. The value of an advisor = A+B+C+P+T. It’s as easy as ABC, and then some, Brad Jung, North America’s managing director of sales for advisor and intermediary solutions, explains.

DB contributions expected to plummet in 2019

Our director of investment strategy and solutions, Justin Owens, explains why contributions among the largest U.S.-listed defined-benefit plan sponsors are expected to plunge dramatically after charting back-to-back record years.

How low can you go: Monetary policy constraints and options for the next recession

The next five years are likely to prove very challenging for monetary policymakers, Senior Investment Strategist Paul Eitelman says. With interest rates at historically low levels, central bankers may need to turn to an array of unconventional monetary policy tools to combat the next recession.

Fact vs. feeling: Retirement confidence is at an all-time high.

The disconnect between retirement confidence and preparation is startling, says Mark Spina, head of advisor and intermediary solutions for North America. In this post, he suggests three simple ways advisors can help put their clients on the right path to financial security.

Confessions of a former CIO ... on OCIO

Peter Corippo, managing director of fiduciary solutions, makes the case for why organizations should consider investment outsourcing. The OCIO value proposition has matured to the point where consideration seems to be the responsible thing for most fiduciaries to do, the former CIO writes.

When it comes to ESG and performance, can you have your cake and eat it too?

A sustainable approach to sustainable investing means delivering an ESG mandate while also delivering strong performance, Director of Investment Strategy Research Leola Ross says. We believe it’s possible to do both. Here’s why.

Taxman: There's one for you, nineteen for me …

Advisors should know the difference between marginal and effective tax rates, says Frank Pape, senior director of our portfolio consulting group for advisor and intermediary solutions. He explains why it matters and how to make it a part of your client discovery.

Harmonizing DB and DC: Part One – It begins with governance

A consistent approach to the governance of an organization's DB and DC plans is crucial, argue Holly Verdeyen, head of institutional defined contribution, and Kevin Turner, managing director, head of investment strategy & solutions. Why? Harmonizing both investment approaches can deliver economies of scale and help simplify and aggregate responsibilities, while demonstrating fiduciaries' strong adherence to best-practice governance disciplines, they explain.

Private market strategies, part 1: More than meets the eye?

Fueled by a global need to fund long-term obligations, the demand for private market strategies is projected to grow. But are investors considering the full opportunity set? In the first in a series of posts addressing the mechanics and outlook for key private market strategies, our private markets team discusses foundational principles relevant for new and existing investors across the board.

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