Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: December 2017 Observations

January 15, 2018 Shruti Patel

Trading among defined contribution plan investors was light in December, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM, with two days of above normal1 trading activity.

December observations:

  • Net transfers for the month of December were 0.15% of balances
  • 13 out of 20 days favored equity funds

The Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™ statistics for the month of December 2017:

Index statistics December 2017
Total transfers as percentage of starting balance 0.15% 1.45%
# Fixed days 7(35%) 132(53%)
# Equity days 13(65%) 119(47%)
# Above normal days 2 13

 

Inflows and outflows during the month:

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

Asset classes with most trading inflows in December

  Percentage of inflows Index dollar value
($ mil)
Large U.S. equity funds 49% $143
International funds 31% $91
Bond funds 7% $21

 

Asset classes with most trading outflows in December

  Percentage of outflows Index dollar value
($ mil)
Stable value 54% $158
Company stock funds 31% $91
Money market funds 12% $36

 

December investment portfolios:

  • At the end of December, 68.6% of balances were invested in equities, up from 68.3% at the end of November
  • 67.1% of new contributions were invested in equities, down marginally from 67.2% at the end of November

Asset classes with largest percentage of total balance at end of December

  Percentage of balance Index dollar value
($ mil)
Target date funds2 27% $55,435
Large U.S. equity funds 24% $48,478
Stable value funds 10% $20,518

 

Asset classes with most contributions in December

  Percentage of contributions Index dollar value
($ mil)
Target date funds 47% $489
Large U.S. equity funds 19% $197
International funds 8% $84

 

December market observations

Positive gains were seen for large U.S. equities and international equities (represented by the S&P 500 Index and, MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index respectively). U.S. bonds (represented by the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index) experienced lesser gains. Small U.S. equities (represented by the Russell 2000 Index) experienced a slight loss in December.

Returns for common indices

  December 2017 YTD
Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index 0.5% 3.5%
S&P 500 Index 1.1% 21.8%
Russell 2000 Index -0.4% 14.7%
MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index (net) 2.2% 27.2%

 

Members of the media: please contact MacKenzie Lucas for questions about the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™.

Learn more about the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index here.

  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 two times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months.
  2. Target date funds also include the amounts in target risk funds for companies who do not have target date funds. The amount in the target risk funds is less than 10% of the total.

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