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Target date funds are exploding in popularity. Net flows surpassed $41 billion in the first three quarters of 2007–up from a total of $34 billion for the full calendar year in 2006, according to Financial Research Corp. (FRC). The growth is driven in large part by increased use in retirement plans as employers try to steer participants to funds more likely to provide income replacement at retirement. “There has been a surge of interest,” says Michael Doshier, vice president of marketing for retirement products at Fidelity Investments. “In fact, most inquiries we get from plan sponsors are about target date funds.”

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