Fidelity Ups International Equity Exposure in Target-Dates

Fidelity Investments is increasing the international equity exposure and adding Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities to its lifecycle funds.

The investment firm today announced it would bump the asset allocation targets in its Freedom Fund product line for international equities to 30% of total equity exposure from about 20%. The increased international exposure will be funded by a reduction in the allocation to domestic equity funds.

“Freedom Fund shareholders to invest in a portfolio that is more reflective of the risks and opportunities presented in an increasingly global economy,”said  Derek L. Young, chief investment officer of the Global Asset Allocation group for Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMRCo).

In addition, the company said the Fidelity and Fidelity Advisor Freedom Funds will seek further diversification by investing in two new underlying funds with exposure to dedicated commodities and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS): Fidelity Series Commodity Strategy Fund and Fidelity Series Inflation-Protected Bond Index Fund.

The Fidelity Freedom K and Fidelity Freedom Index Funds, offered only to certain retirement plans recordkept by Fidelity, also will feature the higher level of international equity exposure, as well as the dedicated commodities and inflation-protected exposure.

“It’s no secret that inflation erodes a portfolio’s purchasing power, and historically it has been a factor in some major asset classes, such as stocks and bonds, underperforming their historical averages. A notable dimension of commodities is their historical record in providing inflation protection,” said Young. “Adding explicit TIPS exposure can provide a real, inflation-adjusted return as well as additional diversification within the fixed-income asset class.”

Other funds that will see a similar modification in their international equity exposures and the addition of TIPS include the Asset Manager series—including Fidelity, Advisor and VIP versions—and the Fidelity Four-In-One Index Fund.