Wells Fargo Funds Distributor has begun offering registered target-date mutual funds that track the performance of the global series of the Dow Jones Target Date Indexes.

The move was a relaunching of portfolios introduced in 1994, Wells said, to improve its lineup of target-date mutual funds. The funds, renamed Wells Fargo Advantage Dow Jones Target Date Funds, now offer investors a risk allocation strategy and greater diversification.

The portfolios were called Wells Fargo Advantage Outlook Funds. Target-date, or life-cycle, funds are designed to gradually grow more conservative as the target retirement date approaches. The funds now invest in stock, bond, and cash portfolios that in turn invest in 14 subasset classes. They will also be benchmarked against the Dow Jones Target Date Indexes, which were introduced in April 2005.

Target-date funds have proven appealing for 401(k) plans, with as many as 63% of plans offering them or other premixed asset allocation options, according to research by Hewitt Associates. In fact, Financial Research Corp. said, assets in target-date funds grew by 60% last year, to more than $70 billion.

Wells Fargo Funds Management LLC, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Co. that manages its fund complex, offers 120 portfolios and had $111 billion of assets under management at March 31.

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