What are asset allocation funds and how are they used? Asset allocation funds are usually a mixture of various types of funds and securities that are invested to meet some type of goal or investment horizon. For example, there may be an asset allocation fund geared towards a specific retirement date or alternatively to meet a specific lifestyle or generation (i.e. a Baby Boomer fund). These funds are primarily offered in defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans.
In research recently completed by Spectrem Group with defined contribution plan participants about 72% of investors had some form of asset allocation fund offered within their plan. While some had Lifestyle Funds, many had Target Date Funds, but the largest percentage (34%) had both types of funds available in the plan.
About half (50%) of the participants had some or all of their defined contribution assets invested in these funds, up from 36% in 2008. A large portion of participants uses the asset allocation funds for some of their money, which increased from 13% in 2008 to 24% today.
The popularity of asset allocation funds is expected to increase as investors become increasingly comfortable with relying on the investment expertise of providers rather than trying to “do it yourself”.