401kDirect will next week begin offering exchange-traded funds through qualified 401(k) retirement plans through its 401k Professionals program.

"Portfolio models utilizing ETFs gives the 401k Professionals, plan sponsors and participants the benefits of asset allocation, diversification, and low costs of ETFs," the Agoura Hills, Calif.-based company said in a release.

Barclays Global Investors and State Street Global Advisors are among the sub-advisors upon which the new program will rely. 

ETFs are funds that trade throughout the day like stocks on the open market. Because these new collective investment funds (CIFs) are recorded as mutual funds within the accounts, investors can buy ETFs and mutual funds in the same account.

"This product is designed to provide 401k professionals with greater flexibility and numerous options when customizing retirement plans for clients of varying needs," the company said in a release.

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