Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb has waded through what he calls the "crosscurrent of information about the markets, the economy, and the changing regulatory environment" in the "post-great-financial-crisis era," and tackled what he believes are some of the prime areas of importance for investors in the year to come.

Here are the five issues McNabb has chosen to spotlight. 

1. Sock it away

An atmosphere of greater volatility and lower returns awaits investors this year, according to Vanguard's global stock and bond market projections, which McNabb said "are our most muted since 2006." Faced with that cheery news, investors might be interested in more details. 

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