Steve Utkus

Steve Utkus

Steve Utkus oversees the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, which studies many aspects of retirement in America—from how individuals start saving and investing in the early part of their careers, to how they prepare for actual retirement, to how they spend down their savings once they’re retired. Steve is particularly interested in behavioral finance—the study of how rational decision-making is influenced by human psychology. His current research interests also include the ways employers design retirement programs, and new developments in retirement in other countries. Steve holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He began working at Vanguard in 1987 and has served as director of the Center for Retirement Research since 2001. Steve is also a visiting scholar at the Wharton School.

Recent blog posts by Steve Utkus

personal finance

Aging and financial decisions

Global aging is a familiar idea. Not only are populations in the advanced economies aging rapidly, but so are those in emerging countries. For investors, the aging trend poses a number of broad, sometimes philosophical questions—the sustainability of public benefit …

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17 Comments
economy

The case for China

I was at a garden party recently, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in September, where talk centered around the economy, politics, favorite movies, and the latest in electronic gadgets. Yet one conversation that struck a particular chord with me was …

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31 Comments
retirement

Retirement and the market sell-off

When the stock market sells off, as it did in late July and early August, there is an inevitable surge in commentary on the riskiness of U.S. retirement accounts. The main worry is that retirement investors are taking on too …

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97 Comments
investing

98% stayed the course

I read the headlines, same as you. Investors are panicking. During the drive in to work today, I listened to a radio business show. A correspondent talked about the flood of selling and the deep sense of fear in financial …

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36 Comments
investing

Gold fever

This morning I saw on a website that the spot price of gold had soared to $1,600 an ounce, up over 30% in the past year. What can we as investors say conclusively say about gold? Two things, I think: …

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100 Comments
retirement

Making retirement work

If you haven’t saved enough for retirement, one possible solution is working longer. But a new report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute* paints a somewhat bleak view of the benefit of doing so. The study suggests that if …

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17 Comments
retirement

401(k) fee literacy

According to a recent survey, more than 70% of participants in 401(k) retirement plans think they pay no fees on their accounts. Less than a quarter got the answer right, acknowledging that they do, in fact, pay fees.

It’s …

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7 Comments
retirement

New insights on retirement income

We’ve just launched some new content on vanguard.com designed to provide insights into generating and taking income in retirement, and we’re interested in hearing your thoughts about it.

Our new web content is based on 3 ideas. First, if you’re …

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15 Comments
retirement

Two futures

The “future of retirement” seems very much on the public’s mind. The topic is surfacing in the press, in the institutional marketplace, and will be the focus of a Washington, D.C., policy forum I’m attending in May. Here are some …

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19 Comments
investing

On the origin of bubbles

I was traveling a few weeks ago to visit with institutional clients. For my travel reading, I downloaded Michael Lewis’s The Big Short. It’s a colorful look at some of the personalities during the great financial crisis of 2008–2009—in …

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15 Comments

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