Top ten lists are a dime a dozen.

While it’s easy to find year-end lists for the top ten movies and books, those who want to dig a little deeper can find top ten lists for everything from most dangerous fish to romantic European getaways.

But a top eight list? Now that’s unique! Then again, so is the Vanguard Blog for Institutional Investors, where our experts in investing, retirement saving, plan design, and the economy regularly weigh in on topics foremost on the mind of plan sponsors and participants.

Without further ado, here’s a countdown of our eight most-read blog posts in 2018:

8. Two cheers for plan design! Shannon Nutter-Wiersbitzky, head of Participant Strategy and Development for Vanguard’s institutional business, proposes that plan sponsors use “courageous plan design” to help participants increase their retirement savings rates.

7. Demographics and equity returns: A far-fetched horror story. Joe Davis explains why he thinks that baby boomers’ reduced equity exposures will be offset by millennials’ equity purchases.

6. Caution on ‘buy bonds now while supplies last.’ Brett Dutton, lead investment actuary for Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services®, explains why the prospect of rising interest rates need not trigger a rush among pension sponsors to buy long-term corporate bonds.

5. The biggest risk to target-date funds isn’t what you’d expect. While plan sponsors focus on interest rate risk in target-date funds (TDFs), they can lose sight of this—the greatest risk to their TDF-invested plan participants.

4. I just don’t get it. Jim Rowley of Vanguard Investment Strategy Group examines complaints about the weighting of government bonds in the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index and finds little reason for fuss.

3. How Vanguard’s investing approach can strengthen nonprofit endowments. Part one of this three-part series examines the investing landscape for educational institutions and describes what endowments can do today to help improve investment outcomes.

2. Looking past the Fed’s next rate hike. Vanguard Global Chief Economist Joe Davis looks at how further rate hikes by the Federal Reserve are likely to affect the bond and stock markets.

1. Why the endowment model has lost its edge. This three-part series examines the challenges that colleges, universities, and private secondary schools encounter when investing with the endowment model and discusses how we can help educational institutions improve performance to grow endowments.

Thanks for reading! Have a Happy New Year and please join us again in 2019; you’ll be sure to find more timely insights, storytelling, and thought leadership at our Vanguard Blog for Institutional Investors.


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