Make the Most of Your 401(k)
Kiplinger's Personal Finance|February 2022
We weigh in on a baker’s dozen of the most popular actively managed retirement plan funds.
NELLIE S. HUANG
Make the Most of Your 401(k)
SAVING MONEY IN YOUR 401(K) ACCOUNT is easy compared with figuring out how to invest it. Sifting through the myriad funds available in your plan can be intimidating, and maybe even paralyzing. But it doesn’t have to be. Every year, we analyze the most popular mutual funds in retirement plans, rating them Buy, Sell or Hold, with some help from financial data firm BrightScope, which provides us with a list of the 100 funds with the most 401(k) assets.

As always, this story is meant to help retirement savers make good choices among the funds that are available in their 401(k) plan. Unless your retirement savings plan offers a self-directed brokerage window, your investment choices are limited to what’s offered in your plan. (One in five of the plans that Vanguard administers offers a brokerage window, according to the firm, one of the largest 401(k) plan administrators in the U.S.) That means you must make smart choices, keeping in mind your tolerance for risk and your time horizon.

The funds we highlight here are the 13 most popular actively managed funds in 401(k) plans. We don’t analyze the index funds that are hugely popular in 401(k) plans because the decision to invest in one typically hinges mostly on whether you want exposure to a particular asset class— U.S. stocks, say, or foreign shares. But actively managed funds are different. Some are better than others. Managers change, which can affect performance. And sometimes good funds lag the broad market for good reason—say, if a fund follows an investment style that is temporarily out of favor.

This story is from the February 2022 edition of Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

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This story is from the February 2022 edition of Kiplinger's Personal Finance.

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