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Target Date Funds & 401(k) Plans: Morningstar Research on Tactics, Trends & One Trillion
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Episode Guest:

Jeff Holt, CFA
Director, Multiasset & Alternative Strategies
Morningstar Research Services, LLC
The podcast series where employers find candid, in-depth interviews with industry experts, new best practices and valuable perspectives on current events. 
Recap, highlights, and my thoughts

In case you hadn’t noticed, Target Date Funds (TDFs) are kind of a big deal in workplace retirement plans.  My guest, Jeff Holt, a Director of Multiasset Strategies at Morningstar and one of the authors of their 10th annual Target Date Landscape report cites their use as default funds in retirement plans as one of the key reasons they hit $1 Trillion dollars in assets in 2017. 


During our conversation today, we discuss the significance of that accomplishment and hit a few other highlights including thoughts on the flood of money into “passive” target date funds, how TDFs are actually performing, whether you can glean useful information by evaluating the underlying holdings in TDFs and how the competitive environment in TDFs is affecting the industry.  Also, don’t miss our discussion on a newer statistic Morningstar has developed comparing the cost of a target date fund with the percent of that fund that is index based.  


Whether you are TDF novice or expert, there is something here for you.  If you feel like we missed something on TDFs, let me know and we can tackle it on a future episode.  Shoot me an email to

Thanks for listening! 

Sincerely Your Host, 

Rick Unser

Guest Bio

Jeff Holt, CFA, is director of multiasset and alternative strategies for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. He has covered target-date funds and other multiasset funds from various asset managers.    


Before joining Morningstar in 2014, Holt spent nearly nine years at Jeffrey Slocum & Associates (since acquired by Pavillion Financial), where he was responsible for investment research to support the firm’s defined-contribution practice. He covered target-date funds, stable value funds, and other asset classes specific to defined-contribution clients.


Holt holds a bachelor’s degree in management, with a concentration in corporate finance, from Brigham Young University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. 

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