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A tumbling stock market throughout March spurred 401(k) investors to trade at record-high levels, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™. Total transfers as a percentage of the starting balance was the highest since October 2008. March had 18 above-normal1 days of trading activity – the most above-normal days in a month in the more than 20-year history of the 401(k) Index.
Inflows and outflows during March:
March investment portfolios:
March market observations:
All benchmark indices fell in March as equity markets experienced elevated levels of volatility. Large U.S. equities (represented by the S&P 500 Index) lost -12.4%, international equities (represented by the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index) dropped -14.5% and small U.S. equities (represented by the Russell 2000 Index) sank -21.7%. Even U.S. bonds (represented by the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index) dipped slightly -0.6% for the month.
Members of the media: please contact Landis Cullen for questions about the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™. Learn more about the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™ here.
A “normal” level of relative transfer activity is when the net daily movement of participants’ balances as a percent of total 401(k) balances within the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™ equals between 0.3 times and 1.5 times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months. A “high” relative transfer activity day is when the net daily movement exceeds two times the average daily net activity. A “moderate” relative transfer activity day is when the net daily movement is between 1.5 and two times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months.
Target date funds also include the amounts in target risk funds. The amount in the target risk funds is less than 10% of the total.