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Alight Solutions 401(k) Index: Fourth Quarter 2021 Observations

401(k) investors were light traders in the fourth quarter, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) IndexTM. There was one day of above-normal trading, bringing the total to three for the entire year. Net trading activity slightly favored fixed income, with over 60% of days favoring moving money into stable value, money market, and bond funds. 

Fourth quarter observations:

  • Net transfers for the quarter were 0.17% of balances—the second lightest trading quarter on record.
  • 39 out of 64 trading days in the fourth quarter had net trading dollars moving from equities to fixed income.

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index statistics for Q4 2021 and year-to-date:

Index statistics

Q4 2021

2021 YTD

Total transfers as percentage of starting balance

0.17%

0.53%

# Fixed days

39 (61%)

137 (54%)

# Equity days

25 (39%)

115 (46%)

# Above-normal days1

1

3

Asset classes with most trading inflows in Q4 2021

Percentage of inflows 

Index dollar value ($mil) 

Stable value funds

36%

$163

Bond funds

36%

$162

Specialty/Sector funds

11%

$49

Asset classes with most trading outflows in Q4 2021

Percentage of outflows 

Index dollar value ($mil) 

Company stock

37%

$166

Target date funds2

26%

$116

Mid U.S. equity funds

17%

$76

Returns for common indices

Q4 2021

2021 YTD

Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index

0.01%

-1.54%

S&P 500 Index

11.03%

28.71%

Russell 2000 Index

2.14%

14.82%

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

1.82%

7.82%

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™: 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.

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

June was another active trading month for 401(k) investors, according to the Alight 401(k) Index. There were 5 above-normal trading days, and all but 3 days in the month had net trading flows going from equities to fixed income.