Americans are mostly investing their 401 (k) plans in equities, either through mutual funds or company stock, according to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Sixty-eight percent of 401(k) participants placed their plans in equity securities in 2005, which has changed little in recent years, the report states.

Younger Americans tend to hold a higher portion of their 401(k) accounts in equity assets. Participants in their 20s held 52% of their account balances in equity funds, compared to 38% of accounts balances for participants in their 60s.

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