Our top 10 favorite blog posts of 2020

The worst public health crisis in 100 years. The steepest economic decline since the Great Depression. The battle to root out systemic racism.

The events of 2020 have rocked the world in unprecedented fashion, upending daily life across the globe—and the financial industry has been no exception to the turmoil. On the Russell Investments Blog, we’ve responded by kicking our content efforts into overdrive. Throughout the year, we’ve worked with some of the best and brightest minds in the firm to deliver frequent, timely and insightful analysis to clients and readers alike.

With a myriad of blog posts to choose from, identifying the most popular ones was no easy feat. Based on reader engagement and feedback, here are our top ten favorite blog posts from 2020—the key thought-leadership pieces that resonated the most with our readers in a year unlike any other.

Why is the stock market rising in the middle of a severe recession?

Amid the steepest recession since the 1930s, equity markets continue to march steadily upward. Chief Investment Strategist Erik Ristuben identifies three factors that may explain the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street.

5 key ways advisors deliver value in the face of 2020's adversities

We believe advisors have never been more valuable than they are right now, in the midst of these challenging times. Brad Jung, head of North America advisor and intermediary solutions, shares the results of our annual Value of an Advisory study, which quantifies the dedication and resulting benefit of financial advisors in 2020.

Is it time to strategically re-risk your defined benefit plan?

Market turmoil unlike anything in recent memory has triggered a roller-coaster ride for defined-benefit (DB) discount rates, leading many DB sponsors to consider what (if anything) to do with their plan's asset allocation. In this post, Justin Owens, director of investment strategy and solutions, assesses the potential trade-offs of adopting a new strategic asset allocation.

Big shoes to fill: Rethinking defensive asset allocations after a 40-year bull market in Treasury bonds

With low expected returns on U.S. Treasury bonds moving forward, we believe investors may want to consider exposure to other diversifying assets in their portfolios. Van Luu, director and head of currency and proprietary strategies, explores some of the potential alternatives to government bonds.

Taxes: Potential benefits of kicking the can down the road

In this post, Frank Pape, senior director of portfolio consulting, advisor and intermediary solutions, and Ryan Pogodzinksi, consulting director, advisor and intermediary solutions, discuss why deferring capital gain distributions can actually be a good thing for taxable investors.

Some do some, few do all

Whether an institutional investor is in need of full, holistic outsourcing or just a partial set of services, we believe the best OCIO providers are those that can perform all the necessary functions of a CIO in-house. Peter Corippo, managing director, fiduciary solutions, explains why.

Environment, social and governance risks are financial risks

In this post, Director of Research and Development Leola Ross and Research Analyst Ningning Wang illustrate three proof points of the value-add associated with ESG awareness and integration. They also analyze the importance of considering ESG risks both in the security selection process and the asset manager selection process.

How are we going to pay for all of this? The COVID-19 impact on U.S. tax policy

Stimulus measures enacted by the U.S. government to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus were both unprecedented and necessary. But all bills come due. How will America pay for its economic relief packages? Rob Kuharic, director, tax managed solutions, explores the differing scenarios.

The perils of passive investing amid a highly concentrated S&P 500

Five companies now comprise 26% of the market capitalization of the S&P 500® Index, making for the most concentrated U.S. equity market in the last 40 years. Paul Eitelman, director, senior investment strategist and Paul Wharton, director, head of relationship management, UK institutional, discuss the potential dangers of this for investors.

We condemn racism: A message from Michelle Seitz, Chairman and CEO

Our diversity is what gives us strength, and it is our humanity that unites us, Chairman and CEO Michelle Seitz writes.