While the ranks of 401(k) providers lining up to use ETFs to attack the 401(k) market are growing, they are still failing to make noticeable progress. Those ranks now include Barclays (BGI), BenefitStreet, Invest 'n Retire, Seligman and XTF and will soon include State Street (SSgA) and Wisdom Tree as well. Yet, the Wall Street Journal
reports that fewer than 1 percent of 401(k) assets are invested in ETFs. The challenges include rival lost cost mutual funds, technical hurdles and tough competition. A Fidelity spokesperson offers another take: "We've had virtually no demand from our plan sponsors for ETFs," she says.
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