Problems seem to be highlighted during bear markets. When the markets were soaring two years ago, retirement plan participants watched their 401(k) assets grow, and were often lured into moving assets into specialty funds and company stocks. When things were going well, no one complained. However, after two years of a declining market was followed by the collapse of Enron, participants are starting to ask about something fund companies have been trying to talk to them about for a long time: diversification.
"After Enron, I think a lot of participants are going to take a closer look at their 401(k) assets," said John Doyle, VP of marketing and communications for retirement plan services at T. Rowe Price. "For years, we've been beating the diversification drum. We've been saying that in terms of a lot of things, not just company stock. In terms of what that means for funds, in some cases, I think you'll see more movement to mutual fund options over time."