Ibbotson: Target-date assets hit record level, grow 36% in 12 months

Target-date fund assets reached an all-time high of $465.8 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, according to the latest quarterly report by Ibbotson Associates, a unit of Morningstar Inc.

The Sept. 30 asset total represents an 8% gain from the previous quarter and a 36% gain from a year earlier, according to the report, which analyzed 398 target-date funds with a track record of least one year.

Mutual funds offered by Fidelity Investments, Vanguard Group and T. Rowe Price accounted for about 75% of all target-date fund assets, according to the report, which looked at open-end mutual funds. Custom target-date funds were not analyzed.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, the average return on investment among the funds analyzed was 5.1%, and for the 12-month period, 18.9%.

By contrast, the S&P 500 index was up 6.4% for the quarter and 30.2% for the year ended Sept. 30, the report said. The Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond index was up 1.6% in the third quarter and up 5.2% for the 12-month period.