White paper

Sep. 26, 2016

The Retirement Conundrum: Untying the Gordian Knot

White Paper — Overview

Investors entering retirement face a Retirement Conundrum comprised of an array of unique challenges that collectively seem daunting, these include:

  • The diminished role of public and private pensions and the greater importance of “do it yourself” defined contribution and IRA plans
  • Increased longevity risk as people are living longer than ever before
  • Bond yields at historic lows, threatening both the income and capital preservation roles of fixed income
  • Stock markets at all-time highs while the global economy is slowing
  • The risk of withdrawing from baby boomers’ retirement accounts during bear markets in bonds and/or stocks
  • The risk investors pose to themselves bypanic-selling during market downturns


However, we at Swan Global Investments would argue that this Retirement Conundrum is also a profound opportunity.


The importance of having intelligent, forward-thinking financial advisors directly solving this situation is more important than ever. One-click solutions like target date funds or robo-advisors will not solve the retirement conundrum. Following the same cookie-cutter, 60/40 solutions outlined in textbooks will not solve the retirement problem.


We believe that only bold, forward-thinking solutions that directly address the biggest risks to the retired baby boomers will solve the problem. And moreover, we believe the rewards to those financial advisors who successfully solve this problem will be immense.