Participant Transfers Back to Normal in April

May 7, 2001 ( - Participant transfer volumes returned to normal in April, but participants made significant movements away from company stock and bond funds, according to the Hewitt 401(k) Index.

Transfer volumes were normal on all but four of the 20 trading days during the month, with moderate trading days on April 19 and 20, a low volume day on April 24, and a single high-trading volume day on the last day of the month, as investors rebalanced their portfolios and moved toward equities.


The overall trading volume remained relatively muted, with only about 0.07% of the total $80 billion in participant balances tracked by the Index moving on any given day, in the index of 1.5 million 401(k) participants.

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 Hewitt 401(k) Index equals between 0.3 times and 1.5 times the average daily net activity of the preceding 12 months.

Less Stock, Bonds   

Of the transfers in April, participants pulled money out of the following categories:

  • Company stock (seeing 40.36% of transferred funds)
  • Bonds (37.19%)
  • Self-directed windows  (3.67%)
  • International (2.63%)

And opted for less “active” investments, dividing their transfers over:

  • GIC/Stable Value (receiving 31.29% of transferred funds)
  • Lifestyle/Pre-mixed (30.52%)

However, large US equity funds drew more than 20%, while mid-cap US equity (7.68%) and small caps (4.49%) attracted smaller amounts. 

Balanced (2.15%), specialty sector (3.2%) and emerging markets (0.55%) represented the remainder of the receiving fund categories.

For new contributions, large-cap US equity funds continued to dominate the asset allocation picture, with 34.52% of assets in the Hewitt index. 

Company stock was the second largest category, with 29.69%, nearly three times the commitment of the third-ranked category, GIC/Stable (10.23%).  The lifestyle/premix category was fourth overall, with roughly 5.51% of the total assets.