Retirement Plan Participants and Investing Through the War in Ukraine

| March 09, 2022

Past Wars and Long-Term Market Performance

Since the dawn of time, war and conflict have been with us throughout history, bringing with them their own horrors and uncertainty.
Stock markets do not like uncertainty, and when war and conflict strike, stock markets will exhibit bouts of short-term volatility. Wars
and conflict can and have led to sharp pullbacks in the markets.

Over the long-term, however, the stock market has weathered war and conflict well. The below chart shows this, looking at the
historical returns of the S&P 500 Index since 1927 and notating some of the wars and conflicts since. Over the long-term, the S&P
500 has continued to produce positive results.

During times of uncertainty and market volatility, it is prudent for plan participants to “stay the course” and it is also prudent for them
to review their investment strategies (e.g., “What is my risk tolerance? When will I retire? When will I need this money?”) to ensure
they are on the most appropriate path. A new course of action is only warranted if it is more appropriate than the current path. Evaluating one’s own situation—having the most appropriate asset allocation or glide path and a high enough contribution rate—
can lead to the most positive actions a participant may take in saving for retirement. Selling out of the markets is typically an
imprudent action, often detrimental to reaching future long-term retirement goals. Data indicates that individuals attempting to time
the market generally prove futile. Current market conditions rarely provide a clear direction as to the future performance of the

The U.S. market in particular has been dynamic and resilient in moving on from crisis after crisis throughout history. The recent
market volatility should remind plan participants to focus on what they should be doing on a regular basis: Be mindful of the
situation, but diligent about your investment strategy. Participants need to act in their own best long-term interests while the stock
market reacts to the uncertainty surrounding it: another bout of expected short-term market volatility.

How Stonebridge Can Help

It can be a bit overwhelming to administer a company retirement plan, given all the documentation nuances let alone the deadlines! At Stonebridge Financial Group, we work exclusively with retirement plans and can help you with everything from designing to running your plan. Delegating fiduciary responsibilities can be a great solution for plan sponsors who lack time and the knowledge of ever-changing requirements to manage a retirement plan -- it's is all we've done since our inception back in 2004! Our robust service offering starts with ERISA 3(21) and 3(38) services and is the tip of the iceberg. We are consultants that help you with every aspect of your plan:

  • Participant 1:1 and group education
  • Fee benchmarking
  • Implementing cybersecurity best practices 
  • Ensuring participant retirement readiness
  • Consulting on financial wellness
  • Committee fiduciary training
  • Process creation and documentation
  • Plan design
  • Contribution match modeling
  • Annual plan compliance review
  • And so much more

We become your outsourced retirement plan officer who dives into the morass of retirement plan details and resolves issues so you don't have to!

Please click here to schedule a short call, give us a call at (855) 530-0500 x601 or email We look forward to helping your committee successfully fulfill their fiduciary duties with ease and excellence!