Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: November 2018 Observations

December 7, 2018

November was a more typical month for trading activity among 401(k) investors according to Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM. The month had three days of above-normal1 trading activity—down from five in October, but up from the summer lull when there were no above-normal days from July through September.

November observations:

  • 15 of 21 days favored fixed income funds
  • On average, 0.015% of 401(k) balances were traded daily

The Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™ statistics for the month of November 2018:

Index statistics November 2018 YTD
Total transfers as percentage of starting balance 0.13% 1.20%
# Fixed days 15 (71%) 140 (60%)
# Equity days 6 (29%) 92 (40%)
# Above-normal days 3 37

 

Inflows and outflows during the month:

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

Asset classes with most trading inflows in November

  Percentage of inflows Index dollar value
($ mil)
Stable value funds 59% $152
Money market funds 18% $46
Large U.S. equity 13% $34

 

Asset classes with most trading outflows in November

  Percentage of outflows Index dollar value
($ mil)
Target date funds 62% $159
Company stock funds 25% $65

 

November investment portfolios:

  • Asset allocation in equities increased slightly to 68.1% at the end of November from 68.0% at the end of October
  • New contributions in equities decreased to 67.7% in November from 68.1% in October

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

  Percentage of balance Index dollar value
($ mil)
Target date funds 28% $55,840
Large U.S. equity funds 25% $50,375
Stable value funds 10% $20,899

 

Asset classes with most contributions in November

  Percentage of contributions Index dollar value
($ mil)
Target date funds 48% $528
Large U.S. equity fund 19% $214
International funds 7% $80

 

November market observations

After a volatile October, the capital markets provided positive returns in November. Large-Cap U.S. equities (represented by the S&P 500 Index) were up 2.0% and Small-Cap U.S. equities (represented by the Russell 2000 Index) were up 1.6%. International equities (represented by the MSCI ACWI ex-US Index) were up 1.0% and the U.S. Bond market (represented by the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index) was up 0.6%.

Returns for common indices

  November 2018 YTD
Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index 0.6% -1.8%
S&P 500 Index 2.0% 5.1%
Russell 2000 Index 1.6% 1.0%
MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Index (net) 1.0% -10.1%

 

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. The amount in the target risk funds is less than 10% of the total.

Download a version of this report

 Download now

 

Previous Article
Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays!

Next Item
2018 Workforce Mindset® Study
2018 Workforce Mindset® Study

The 2018 Workforce Mindset Study explores what's on the minds of consumers today and how you can help deliv...