If we had to describe the fixed income market in 2019 with a single word, we would choose “complacent.” While leverage remained elevated among both non-investment grade and investment grade issuers, particularly given the age of the credit cycle, yield spreads were on the tighter end of the spectrum and absolute yields ended the year below where they had been in 2007.
Over the last several years, the retirement landscape has markedly changed. Americans are living longer and need to plan accordingly. At the same time, with defined contribution plans replacing defined benefit plans both at corporations and, more recently, at public entities, individuals also need to shoulder greater responsibility for their own retirement saving.
We believe that First Eagle Funds are a natural fit for defined contribution plans because we believe in the key tenets of successful retirement plan investing. Our funds have distinctive risk/reward characteristics, and they have performed well in some periods when other investments were struggling.