Lifecycle funds are the latch-key kid of the investment world, leave them alone and they will take care of themselves. The WSJ
reports that some investors however, have started playing babysitter to their funds, or using them in a way that nature did not intend. Vanguard Group's research arm found 69 percent of lifecycle-fund investors in Vanguard 401ks own at least one other fund in their retirement plan. Are these people all wrong to try and customize their portfolios when lifecycle funds are already diversified? The odds say they're not. Author Steve Utkus says that investing in intriguing sectors such as emerging-market stocks, foreign small-company shares and high-yield junk bonds to supplement target date funds may be a strategy that pays off in the long run. So what other non-retirement uses are there for target date funds? Some shareholders are using the funds to amass money for a home purchase, or college. Still others are laddering their funds with each fund covering a certain number of years in retirement.
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