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Alight Solutions 401(k) Index: First Quarter 2022 Observations

With volatility returning to Wall Street, 401(k) investors were busy traders in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM. There were 16 above-normal trading days in the quarter—a stark contrast to the 3 above-normal days seen in 2021. Net transfers as a percentage of starting balances were 0.46%, nearly equal to the percentage seen in the prior twelve months (0.53%). Net trading activity significantly favored fixed income.

First quarter observations:

  • 42 out of 62 trading days in the first quarter had net trading dollars moving from equities to fixed income.
  • The highest trading days generally occurred on days when stocks fell.

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index statistics for Q1 2022 and year-to-date:

Index statistics

Q1 2022

2022 YTD

Total transfers as percentage of starting balance

0.46%

0.46%

# Fixed days

42 (68%)

42 (68%)

# Equity days

20 (32%)

20 (32%)

# Above-normal days

16

16

Asset classes with most

trading inflows in Q1 2022

Percentage of inflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Stable value funds

74%

$885

Money market funds

12%

$145

Bond funds

8%

$98

Asset classes with most

trading outflows in Q1 2022

Percentage of outflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Target date funds

44%

$532

Large U.S. equity funds

30%

$364

Company stock

8%

$93

Returns for common indices

Q1 2022

2022 YTD

Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index

-5.93%

-5.93%

S&P 500 Index

-4.60%

-4.60%

Russell 2000 Index

-7.53%

-7.53%

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

-5.44%

-5.44%

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.

Related Insights


Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™

Monthly and quarterly Alight Solutions 401(k) Index Reports

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: August 2022 Observations

401(k) plan investors remained light traders in August’s rising and falling of stocks, according to the Alight 401(k) Index™. While there were two above-normal trading days, the net trades reflected the second lowest month in the more than 20-year history of the Alight 401(k) Index™.

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: July 2022 Observations

401(k) plan investors were light traders in July, according to the Alight 401(k) Index™. There were no above-normal trading days as Wall Street posted its best month since November 2020.