Citing recent internal and external research, Fidelity Investments says financial advisers can boost their 401(k) business despite the tough market environment.

About 29,000 companies that sponsor 401(k) plans with $50 million or less in assets under management are expected to change advisers soon, according to the 2009 annual “Marketplace Update Report,” issued by the Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Record Keepers (SPARK). Also, 75% of workplace-based retirement plans under $50 million use a financial advisor, up from 52% in 2003. Taken together, the numbers suggest that financial advisers have compelling opportunities to boost their 401(k) business, Fidelity says.

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