The launch of the new Funds follows several other recent changes to upgrade and expand the fund family's longstanding retirement product line. In June 2006, the product line was re-launched with reduced expenses, a new management team and a more sophisticated investment approach. The addition of new no-load Investor Class shares for do-it-yourself investors followed in January 2007.
This is a significant expansion to the Wells Fargo Advantage Funds Target Date Fund line-up. Dating back to the Funds' inception in 1994, the line-up had consisted of five Funds with target dates largely separated by 10-year increments. For example, investors could select a Fund with a target date that corresponded with their planned year of retirement, choosing from Funds that matured in 2010, 2020, 2030, or 2040.
With the addition of five new Funds maturing in 2015, 2025, 2035, 2045, and 2050 Wells Fargo Advantage Fund clients now have access to a more complete line-up and can select a Fund tailored more closely to their planning needs.
The expanded Target Date Fund line-up:
"In recent years, financial market volatility and renewed concerns about retirement savings have spurred retirement plan sponsors and investors to seek investment vehicles that offer long-term diversification, asset allocation and rebalancing components," said Andrew Owen, head of Wells Fargo Fund Management's Investment Review and Product group. "With the improvements we have made in the past 12 months, we believe clients now have access to a best of breed all-in-one retirement solution, offering a more sophisticated risk allocation strategy and greater diversification among asset classes."
About Target Date Funds
Wells Fargo was one of the first to offer a target date product as a mutual fund with the introduction of the Stagecoach LifePath Funds in 1994. Target date or "lifecycle" funds are automatically rebalanced on a regular basis and gradually grow more conservative as the fund's target date indicated in the fund's name approaches.
In recent years, target date funds have grown in popularity due to their simplicity, diversification, and automatic asset allocation management. In 2006 alone, the number of assets invested in target date funds across the mutual fund industry grew by 62% to a total of more than $114 billion. (Source: Financial Research Corporation)
Wells Fargo Advantage Dow Jones Target Date FundsSM have shown increased resonance among investors since their re-launch in June 2006. Since that time more than 150 retirement plans have added the Wells Fargo Advantage Dow Jones Target Date Funds to their list of investment options.
Investors should consider their own personal investment horizon and risk tolerance when determining which investments are right for them.
Balanced funds may invest in stocks and bonds. Stock values fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and general market and economic conditions. Bond values fluctuate in response to the financial condition of individual issuers, general market and economic conditions, and changes in interest rates. In general, when interest rates rise, bond values fall and investors may lose principal value. The use of derivatives may reduce returns and/or increase volatility. Certain investment strategies tend to increase the total risk of an investment (relative to the broader market). These Funds are exposed to foreign investment risk and smaller company investment risk. Consult the Fund's prospectus for additional information on these and other risks.