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Fidelity to Baby Boomers: Lay Off the Stocks

Michael McDonald
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Fidelity to Baby Boomers: Lay Off the Stocks

(Bloomberg) -- Hey, baby boomers: lay off the stocks.

That’s the message from Fidelity Investments in its third-quarter retirement report. Boomers, or the generation born between 1944 and 1964, have been riding a 10-year bull market into retirement, steadily upping bets on stocks to boost 401(k) returns and exposing them to unnecessary risk.

More than a third of the generation had crossed over Fidelity’s recommended allocation to stocks, which is 70% for those 10 years from retirement. Almost one-tenth of boomers were entirely in equities during the quarter, running the risk of serious losses in a market meltdown.

By comparison, almost a quarter of all savers had too much devoted to stocks.

Other highlights from the report:

Average 401(k) account balance dropped to $105,200, less than a 1% dip from the prior quarter, due to market conditionsFor long-term savers who have been invested in their 401(k)s for 10 straight years, the average balance reached a record $306,500More than 1 million workers contributed to a Roth account, almost a 10-fold increase from a decade ago

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael McDonald in Boston at mmcdonald10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at smamudi@bloomberg.net, Vincent Bielski, Josh Friedman

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