Keep Keeping Your Distance

An Updated Look at 401(k) Participant Behaviors
During the COVID-19 Crisis

The year 2020 was likely both an exciting and stressful one for investors. With a pandemic, significant volatility, low interest rates, and more, the financial markets were likely more on the minds of investors than usual. In a follow-up report from a paper originally published in 2020, we explore the allocation changes and enrollment decisions made by 401(k) participants throughout 2020.

In this report, we will cover:
  • Participant allocation and enrollment decisions throughout 2020, particularly which types of participants were more (or less) likely to make changes and the types of changes made
  • How investment decisions changed for participants who enrolled during 2020, particularly the impact on usage of professionally managed portfolios
  • How participants who “stayed the course” likely had higher performance than those who traded their accounts
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