Research firm Spectrem Group said despite the highflying stock market, the percentage of 401(k) assets in equities remains considerably lower than before the 2008 economic crisis.
In 2012, 401(k) plan participants held 36% of their assets in diversified equities and another 13% in company stock, according to Spectrem in Chicago.
That’s a full 10 percentage points less than in 2006, when these investors had 40% of their assets in diversified stocks and another 19% in company stock, the firm said.
Investors have become less conservative with their retirement funds since 2008, when 401(k) plan participants held just 29% of their assets in equities and 13% in company stock, Spectrem said.
While 401(k) participants trimmed assets in money market funds to 21% of their total in 2012 versus 32% in 2008, they are still are keeping more funds liquid than in 2006, when just 16% of their assets were invested in money market funds.
“The 2008 economic crisis was a defining moment for most investors, and it continues to affect their investment decisions today,” said George H. Walper Jr., president of Spectrem. “The impact is especially evident in how they are managing their 401 (k) assets and in their worries about being able to retire.”
Nearly half, or 46%, of plan participants who are closest to retirement age, from 55 to 64, said their household is not saving enough to meet their financial goals, Spectrem said. In contrast, just 35% of plan participants in that age group fully expect to have sufficient income to live comfortably during retirement.