Should 401(k) investors choose growth or value? Small-cap, mid-cap or large-cap? Active or passive? Equity, bonds or balance? And what about commodities, real estate and alternative investments?

For many 401(k) investors, these are the types of questions they first ask. Indeed, 401(k) plan sponsors often provide free education seminars offering investment guidance that emphasizes the differences and similarities among all these choices. But for most 401(k) investors, this may not be the first and most important to ask. It might not even make the top three.

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