In recent years, a growing chorus of commentators have determined most professional money-managers are of little use.

The wealthy, employers and pension funds pay professional investment advisers dearly to manage their funds, but in many cases those professionally-managed portfolios do not outperform the stock market. In other cases, they fail miserably, often at the expense of workers' retirement savings.

A new study, however, has identified a number of striking trends that might hint at ways that companies can better-manage their workers' life savings.

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