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Fidelity Freedom Target-Dates Series

A well-informed glide path with topnotch underlying funds throughout.

The Fidelity Freedom target-date series’ robust asset-allocation team has driven consistent, well-researched enhancements to its glide path over time. A stable of strong underlying funds also gives this series a leg up. It earns a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver for its cheapest K6 share class, while its pricier shares are rated Bronze.

Fidelity’s well-resourced asset-allocation team and tenured portfolio managers set this series’ allocations. Comanagers Andrew Dierdorf and Brett Sumsion stand at the helm, a partnership that dates to 2014. Both managers have a wealth of asset-allocation expertise, while nearly 70 investment professionals, including 32 research-focused team members, provide support. The team’s work informs any changes to the series’ long-term strategic allocations or shorter-term tactical shifts. The managers also have a stable of topnotch equity and bond managers at their disposal. Veteran managers like Ford O’Neil, Jed Weiss, and Steve Wymer, among others, run underlying Fidelity Series funds used across the glide path; each of their retail equivalent offerings earns a High People rating, and an Analyst Rating of Gold or Silver, as of December 2022.

The series benefits from Fidelity’s research-intensive approach to asset allocation. The team has implemented measured adjustments to the glide path over time, primarily focused on improving diversification. Since 2013, the team has made four substantial changes. Most recently, the team revamped the fixed-income sleeve’s strategic allocation starting in July 2021. The changes roughly doubled the exposure to Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, split the allocation across two funds for more targeted positioning, marginally increased exposure to long-term U.S. Treasuries, and carved out dedicated exposure to international bonds.

The managers have leeway to shift the series away from its strategic allocation based on one- to five-year views. Although well-researched, the tilts have not consistently delivered. Active allocation has detracted from results during four of the past five calendar years, though 2022′s results through September were favorable. That said, the series has still delivered respectable long-term results. Over the trailing decade through December 2022, nine vintages outpaced their average target-date Morningstar Category peer on an absolute and risk-adjusted basis (as measured by Sharpe ratio).

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The author or authors do not own shares in any securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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Adam Millson

Associate Director Global Multi-Asset and Alternative Funds
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Adam Millson is an associate director of multi-asset and alternative strategies for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc.

Before assuming his current role in January 2023, Millson was a senior manager research analyst covering multi-asset and alternative strategies. Prior to joining Morningstar Research Services LLC in August 2019, he was a data research analyst within Morningstar's Data and Development Center, where he led the activations and client response squads. Millson initially joined Morningstar in 2017, where he was a client services representative for Morningstar Direct.

Millson holds a bachelor's degree in finance, with honors, from the University of Cincinnati's Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

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