This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Americans Stand by 401(k) Plans, Survey Says

Participant data provided by Vanguard in conjunction with the report sees "investors' overall positive sentiments about the 401(k) are matched by their actions." Through the third quarter of 2009, six of 10 Vanguard 401(k) plan participants have account balances similar to or larger than those of two years ago, despite the decline in stock prices.

The ICI also found that, despite suspicions to the contrary, plan participants are not tapping their accounts any more than they have in the past. Only 2.6% took withdrawals and only 1.3% took hardship withdrawals.

"If you would have asked us how long it would take to recover I think people would have guessed two to three years," says Mike Dozier, vice president of retirement services for Fidelity Investments. "By the end of the third quarter, only six months after the bottom of early March, the average account balance in our 401(k) book of business was back to even. Between the investment returns and ongoing contributions people, they had at least filled the hole back in."

Dozier credits much of that recovery to a willingness by participants to weather the storm and their reluctance to change strategy. Fidelity's exchange rate -- those moving money from equity funds to money market funds, for example -- increased only 2%. Since the market hit bottom, savings rates, on a per participant basis, have increased.

"The good news is that during that time period a lot of people did a lot of things," he says. "One thing they did was to ask for help. When you look at September through March and compare that to the six months prior, our contact rates -- whether people were walking into a branch, using the Web or calling by phone -- went up, in some places 11-fold. People were coming out of the woodwork looking for answers."

-- Reported by Joe Mont in Boston.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $94.99 -0.02%
FB $99.54 -0.21%
GOOG $678.11 -0.68%
TSLA $148.25 0.18%
YHOO $26.82 -0.85%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,014.38 -12.67 -0.08%
S&P 500 1,852.21 -1.23 -0.07%
NASDAQ 4,268.7630 -14.99 -0.35%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs