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A target-date fund is offered through employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s. It’s a diversified mutual fund that automatically shifts towards a more conservative mix of investments as it approaches a particular year in the future, known as its “target date.”
A target-date fund investor picks a fund with the right target date based on his or her particular investment goal. The managers of the fund then make all decisions about asset allocation, diversification, and rebalancing. Target date funds also are known as lifecycle funds.