The Defined Contribution team at SSGA turned to Living with the question: how can we illustrate the advantages of using target date funds? They wanted to reach individual investors who needed a simplified explanation for a product they may not be aware of. At the same time, SSGA wanted to equip their sales team with a means of displaying to their institutional clients the sophisticated power of incorporating a target date fund strategy in their retirement programs.
A target date fund is a complex class of mutual funds or ETFs that periodically rebalances its asset allocation to optimise risk and returns for a predetermined time frame. State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) offers index-based target date funds that apply a ‘finer lens’ to the selection of asset classes, delivering a disciplined approach to help mitigate the risks investors face along their savings journey.
Investors are attracted to target date funds because of the convenience of putting their investing activities on autopilot in one vehicle. But telling the story of how they work can be complicated.
The data visualisation team at Living got to work on planning, designing and coding a highly engaging glidepath tool that would be accessible to individual investors on the SSGA website, with a more in-depth version available to the firm’s sales team.
The result is two highly-interactive online tools (an abbreviated client view and a full sales team version) that details the rationale driving the construction of SSGA’s target date funds. Each of the interactive screens invites users to make selections that change the illustrated depictions of how funds are invested, with allocations among asset classes changing over time.
By simplifying the narrative of using target date funds to improve a retirement portfolio, SSGA’s target date fund tools succeed in using engaging and interactive graphics to tell a complex story while educating its users.