As individuals become increasingly aware of the costs of retirement, they have begun taking their futures into their own hands, according to The Boston Globe.

Fidelity noted that inflows to its retail retirement accounts increased 62% during the first four months of 2006. "That number amazed me," said Ellyn McColgan, president of Fidelity Brokerage Company.

In part, the Boston-based Behemoth credits increased consumer awareness to a recent marketing campaign featuring former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney.

Although Fidelity refuses to specify how much money its retail retirement accounts signify, the products include individual retirement accounts (IRA) and 401(k) accounts for the self-employed.

"Fidelity has spent the last three years aggressively marketing," said Jim Lowell, editor of Fidelity Investor, a newsletter not affiliated with the firm.

McClogan told the Globe that the company's marketing budget has nearly doubled since 2002, but again refused to cite specific amounts.

John Bonnanzio, an editor with Fidelity Insight, another unaffiliated Fidelity newsletter, said that part of Fidelity's success probably stems from a strong market at the beginning of the year, which helped to make consumers more confident.

President George W. Bush also probably contributed to the boost when, during his 2005 State of the Union address, he unveiled his plan to reform Social Security with private investment accounts. Although the plan met political challenges, it helped make more Americans aware about preparing for retirement.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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