Stable-value funds, available in such tax-deferred accounts as 401(k)s, have been attracting a lot of attention lately, having returned 4.7% in 2008, compared to the Dow’s 33.8% decline, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But the yields on the bonds in which these funds invest have declined, putting their performance into question just as billions are pouring into them. Thus, managers are putting more of their holdings into cash, and insurance firms that provide the wrappers to guarantee the principle’s stability, are becoming reluctant about offering those guarantees.

Stable-value fund assets grew 25% in 2008 to $520 billion, according to the Stable Value Investment Association.

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