Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fidelity: Average 401(k) Balance Grew 4 Percent; Its the Highest Quarterly Gain since Tracking Began in 2000

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fidelity: Average 401(k) Balance Grew 4 Percent; Its the Highest Quarterly Gain since Tracking Began in 2000

Article excerpt

BOSTON Employee 401(k) accounts grew more than 4 percent in the third quarter as a rising stock market boosted investment returns, and contributions from workers and their employers increased.

Fidelity Investments, the nations largest 401(k) administrator, said last week that the average balance of $75,900 at the end of the quarter was the highest since it began tracking the data in 2000.

Three months earlier, the average account balance among the 12 million accounts that Fidelity administers was $72,800.

The Standard & Poors 500 index rose nearly 6 percent in the July to September period, boosting investment returns in 401(k)s.

The gain helped investors recover from a nearly 3 percent decline in the previous quarter.

Workers 401(k)s are typically invested in bonds as well as stocks to help reduce volatility. A broad U.S. bond market index rose about 1 percent in the second quarter, substantially less than the stock market. So workers with large portions of their accounts invested in stocks enjoyed better performance than those with more in bonds. …

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