Variable annuities represented nearly one-third of lifecycle investment assets at year-end 2011, according to a new report.
Market research firm Strategic Insight (New York, N.Y.; Stamford, Conn.; Boston, Mass.) published this finding in a summary of results from a new survey of the lifecycle investment products market.
Lifecycle funds automatically adjust the proportional representation of an asset class in the fund’s portfolio during the course of the fund’s time horizon. The adjustment transitions from a position of higher risk to one of lower risk as the investor ages and/or nears retirement.
Variable annuities at year-end 2011 accounted for $266 billion of lifecycle assets, or 31.5% of the total. Nearly all (96%) of the assets resided in target risk strategies, the report finds.
The $255 billion variable target risk market attracted $4.0 billion of net flows, while posting net returns of 5.68% during the quarter. Variable target date assets grew 9.6% over the quarter to $11 billion.
The lifecycle investment product market, the survey says, increased to $842 billion as of year-end 2011, representing an 8% increase since the close of the third quarter and a 5% increase from the end of 2010. Lifecycle products (including both mutual fund and variable product) drew net inflows of $11.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.