by Cree McCree
- Good news for Boomers battered by the downturn: Retirement accounts are bouncing back. On September 30, 2009, the median 401(k) at Vanguard Group was up 7% from September 2007, when the market was at its peak (WSJ.com 10.21.09).
- More than half of Vanguard clients in the 45-to-65+ age range had as much or more in their accounts as they did in 2007. Investors under 35 did even better: 75% came out even or ahead of 2007.
- Investors who fared best were those who continued to sock away retirement funds matched by employer contributions.
- Buying during the downturn allowed investors and money managers to pick up bargains.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- After the steady drumbeat of bad news, even a modest uptick signals hope. Financial services companies that crunch the numbers like Vanguard may be pleasantly surprised at what they find. Ditto their clients.
- Not everyone posted gains. Older consumers who lost their jobs in the downturn also lost employer contributions, and need smart advice to stay in the game.