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Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: November 2021 Observations

November was another light trading month for 401(k) investors, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM. There were no days of above-normal activity1. Two-thirds of days saw net trading activity favor equity funds over fixed income. 
        
November observations: 

  • On average, net daily trading activity was 0.009% of 401(k) balances.
  • 14 of 21 days favored equity funds.

The Alight Solutions 401(k) Index statistics for the month of November:

Index statistics

November

2021 YTD

Total transfers as percentage of starting balance

0.08%

0.50%

# Fixed days

7 (33%)

123 (53%)

# Equity days

14 (67%)

107 (47%)

# Above-normal days

0

2

Inflows and outflows during the month of November:

  • Trading inflows mainly went to large U.S. equity, bond and international equity funds.
  • Outflows were primarily from stable value, target date2 and money market funds.

Asset classes with most trading inflows in November

Percentage of inflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Large U.S. equity funds

45%

$97

Bond funds

24%

$50

International equity funds

13%

$27

Asset classes with most trading outflows in November

Percentage of outflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Stable value funds

41%

$88

Target date funds

25%

$52

Money market funds

12%

$26

November investment portfolios:

  • After reflecting market movements and trading activity, average asset allocation in equities decreased from 70.5% in October to 70.1% in November.
  • New contributions to equities increased from 69.2% in October to 69.7% in November.

Asset classes with largest percentage of total balance at the end of November

Percentage of balance

Index dollar value ($mil)

Target date funds2

30%

$77,159

Large U.S. equity funds

27%

$69,836

Stable value funds

7%

$19,067

Asset classes with most contributions in November

Percentage of contributions

Index dollar value ($mil)

Target date funds

48%

$512

Large U.S. equity funds

21%

$220

International equity funds

7%

$78

     

November market returns:

   

Returns for common indices

November

2021 YTD

Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index

0.30%

-1.29%

S&P 500 Index

-0.69%

23.18%

Russell 2000 Index

-4.17%

12.31%

MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index (net)

-4.50%

-4.34%

1. 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 2 times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months.

2. 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.

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