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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


2021 YTD

Total transfers as percentage of starting balance



# Fixed days

7 (33%)

123 (53%)

# Equity days

14 (67%)

107 (47%)

# Above-normal days



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



Bond funds



International equity funds



Asset classes with most trading outflows in November

Percentage of outflows

Index dollar value ($mil)

Stable value funds



Target date funds



Money market funds



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



Large U.S. equity funds



Stable value funds



Asset classes with most contributions in November

Percentage of contributions

Index dollar value ($mil)

Target date funds



Large U.S. equity funds



International equity funds




November market returns:


Returns for common indices


2021 YTD

Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index



S&P 500 Index



Russell 2000 Index



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



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™: 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™

Monthly and quarterly Alight Solutions 401(k) Index Reports

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: Full Year 2020 observations

In 2020, 401(k) investors were busy traders out of equities as stocks were falling and slowly returned to them after their rebound.