Retirement assets invested in mutual funds continued their ascent last year, as a strong rally in stocks and heavy net cash flow fueled a 28% pop in 2003, according to research released Tuesday by the Investment Company Institute.

The recent surge brings total mutual fund retirement assets to a record $2.7 trillion, which represents a market share of 22% of the nation’s retirement assets. The fund industry hasn’t seen its market share that high since the height of the technology bubble back in 1999.

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