So far in 2006, more than half of fund managers have failed to beat the market.In the first half of the year, the S&P 500 stock index has outperformed 58.2% of large-cap funds, while the S&P MidCap 400 index has outperformed 61.3% of mid-cap funds, and the S&P SmallCap 600 index beat 68.1% of small-cap funds. So if professional fund managers can't even top the market, how are you supposed to manage your retirement-plan investing? Whether your retirement fund comes from your company's 401(k) plan or your own IRA, your retirement financial success depends on the decisions you make today. It's enough to paralyze you with fear -- or at least make you run for the safe cover of market funds or stable value funds. But for those with 10 years or more to go in the workforce and probably an additional 25 to 30 years to live in retirement, those "safe" choices are probably the most risky decisions to make. Even moderate inflation will erode the interest earned, and your money certainly isn't working for you in any meaningful way. Recognizing that aspect of human nature called "reckless conservatism," Prudential Retirement recently has launched a series of products called Capital Guarantee funds designed with an impressive promise: If you hold your fund until its maturity date, you will receive the highest daily value of your fund investment during that holding period -- even if the market subsequently declines. To put it another way, if your fund account value rises for a few years, but then is devastated by a bear market just before the fund matures (in a year designated to be closest to your planned retirement), you'll still get the full value of the fund at its highest point in the cycle.