November was the lightest trading month of the year for 401(k) investors, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index. Average net daily trading activity was 0.013% of balances, and there were no days of above-normal trading activity.
Nineteen of the 20 trading days favored fixed income. Year-to-date, 87% of the trading days have favored fixed income and a mere 13% have favored equities.
Asset classes with the most trading inflows in November were bond funds, accounting for 46% of the inflows, which totaled $182 million. This was followed by stable value funds (21%, $81 million) and target-date funds (12%, $47 million).
Asset classes with the most trading outflows in November were company stock (52%, $204 million), large U.S. equity funds (25%, $100 million) and small U.S. equity funds (8%, 33%).
After reflecting market movements and trading activity, the average asset allocation in equities ticked upward from 67.3% in October to 67.7% in November. New contributions to equities increased ever so slightly from 67.4% in October to 67.5% in November.
Asset classes with the largest percentage of total balance at the end of November were target-date funds, according for 29% of the balance and $65.2 billion, followed by large U.S. equity funds (25%, $56.5 billion) and stable value funds (10%, $21.4 billion). Asset classes that took in the most contributions in November were target-date funds (49%, $545 million), large U.S. equity funds (20%, $217 million) and international equity funds (7%, $77 million).
U.S. equity returns were strong in November, with small U.S. equities rising 4.1%, large U.S. equities rising 3.6%, and international equities growing by nearly 1%. U.S. bonds fell slightly by 0.1%.