Nearly All of the Most Popular 401(k) Funds Are in the Red This Year

February 23, 2022

Retirement savers began the year with the highest average 401(k) balance on record,$130,700, according to Fidelity Investments, but the year’s tech slump has sent most of the largest 401(k) funds deeply into the red.

Bloomberg looked at the 15 largest funds held in 401(k) plans, according to data firm BrightScope, and found that just one, Dodge & Cox Stock, has a positive return for the year, and even then, just barely, with a year-to-date return of just 0.3%. At the same time last year, it was up 9.3%, and all but one of the most popular funds were positive.

The year’s biggest loser so far is the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund, which is down 15.5% year-to-date, due to its exposure to large tech companies, most of which are deeply in the red. The fund’s top five holdings, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, and Meta, are all down more than 5% this year.

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