BOSTON, May 10, 2021 – Today, Putnam Investments officially launched TargetDateVisualizer®, designed to help advisors better guide plan sponsors in selecting appropriate target-date mutual funds and collective investment trusts (CITs) for inclusion in workplace savings plans, based on specific risk-tolerance preferences and investment philosophy.
The dynamic evaluation tool seeks to provide greater clarity and insight into the underlying investment glide paths of over 100 different target-date strategies, as well as the portfolio risk levels and key performance characteristics of these popular retirement savings vehicles.
Utilizing a highly engaging and user-friendly interface, TargetDateVisualizer helps identify preferred target-date strategies based on how aggressive or conservative an advisor would like to be in the early and late stages of participants’ working lives – and also how they define success overall. TargetDateVisualizer takes these dynamics into account and allows advisors to better distill appropriate target-date options to consider for their clients.
In discussing Putnam’s new tool for the retirement marketplace, Steven P. McKay, Head of Defined Contribution Investment Only (DCIO) at Putnam said, “The journey and outcome of a target-date strategy is determined by a wide array of factors, including the underlying glide path and investment composition. Putnam TargetDateVisualizer was built to assist advisors and their clients in making greater sense of the numerous target-date strategies available — so they can more successfully identify those products that are best aligned with the needs of their plans’ objectives.”
TargetDateVisualizer: Adding a Strategic Lens to the Selection Process
TargetDateVisualizer works by analyzing the glide path of every target-date strategy, both mutual funds and CITs, with at least a three-year track record – 108 in total at present time. The tool employs an easy-to-use, interactive framework that asks a few key questions regarding investment philosophy and risk preferences, in both the early and late stages of a participant’s working life.
TargetDateVisualizer then frames how much equity sensitivity a target-date vintage has at critical points along the glide path. Subsequently, it plots the funds most aligned with the user’s risk-tolerance, resulting in a more focused set of options for consideration that can be compared head-to-head based on performance and other important risk factors. The final output provides detailed analysis that will allow advisors to document the entire review and/or selection process for their clients.
“Target-date strategies offered by different asset managers may have many features in common, but no two are exactly alike,” said McKay. “In some cases, the differences can be difficult to determine, making it hard to select strategies that are right for the goals of the plan and its participants. With its product-agnostic approach, TargetDateVisualizer should prove to be enormously helpful to advisors when embarking on the challenging, but critically important process of identifying the optimal target-date strategy for their clients.”
Growth of Target-Date Funds
First developed in the 1990s, target-date funds grew rapidly in popularity after 2006, when the Pension Protection Act authorized them as a qualified default investment alternative in defined contribution retirement plans. Total assets in target-date strategies reached $2.8 trillion by the end of 2020, according to Morningstar.
About Putnam Defined Contribution Investment Only
With more than 30 years of experience working with defined contribution plan sponsors, advisors and consultants, Putnam DCIO offers an array of investment-only products and industry-leading support and service for the retirement marketplace, to help participants invest for their future. Putnam DCIO had approximately $32 billion in assets under management at the end of March 2021. Putnam offers two target-date series in the marketplace: Putnam Retirement Advantage Funds and Putnam RetirementReady Funds. Putnam’s retirement strategies are managed by the firm’s Global Asset Allocation team.
About Putnam Investments
Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is a global money management firm with over 80 years of investment experience. At the end of April 2021, Putnam had $197 billion in assets under management. Putnam has offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, visit putnam.com.