Investor's wiki

Zacks Lifecycle Indices

Zacks Lifecycle Indices

What Are Zacks Lifecycle Indices?

Zacks Lifecycle Indices are a series of indexes developed by Zacks Investment Research, Inc., that give a benchmark to the lifecycle allocation of different target-date funds, with an alternate index for each target date.

Figuring out Zacks Lifecycle Indices

Zacks Lifecycle Indices give comparative benchmarks to lifecycle or target-date funds that have become well known with investors saving for retirement, particularly those without the information or interest to be actively engaged with the management of their investments. As the target date approaches, the asset allocation, or glide path, bit by bit turns out to be more conservative.

Zacks, a provider of proprietary research on securities and packaged investments, sent off its lifecycle indexes in 2007. It utilizes proprietary selection rules to recognize stocks and bonds with risk/return profiles steady with general market benchmarks. At send off, the five Zacks indices comprised of various combinations of U.S. stocks, international developed markets stocks and U.S. bonds for funds with target dates of "at retirement" as well as 2010, 2020, 2030 and 2040.

Model: The Zacks 2040 Lifecyle Index

The Zacks 2040 Lifecycle Index (ticker: TDAXFO) is intended for investors hoping to retire in 2040. As indicated by Zack's website, the objective of the Index is to choose a diversified group of stocks, bonds, and complementary securities with the possibility to outperform on a risk-adjusted basis general market benchmarks. The Index constituent selection methodology uses multi-factor proprietary selection rules to determine the optimal mix of domestic stocks, international stocks and fixed income securities in the overall allocation and to distinguish those securities that offer the best potential from a risk/return point of view. The approach is explicitly intended to upgrade investment applications and investability. The Index is adjusted yearly, or as required, to guarantee opportune stock selections.

Motivation for Zacks Lifecycle Indices

Zacks made the lifecycle indexes to give more top to bottom subtleties on the risk and return attributes of target date funds or TDFs. Teaching shareholders in these funds about the high level of equity exposure - and hence risk of principal loss - at the target date was one of the primary motivations for the series.

Most target date funds characterize their target as by the same token "to or through" the probable retirement age of a fund shareholder, either investing "through" that date or "to" that date. As Zacks made sense of in its send off, most TDF glidepaths target actuarial life hopes. At the end of the day, the greater part of these funds expect the shareholder will remain invested and need a blend of growth and protection of capital during retirement and keep a portion of their allocation in higher-risk equities. Zacks accepted this setup made undue risk for investors with short-term capital requirements, like funding a college education or paying for medical expenses, where losing a large portion of principal was unsatisfactory.

A TDF investing "to" a target date, in the interim, would permanently shift to a conservative, capital safeguarding based allocation at retirement comprising for the most part of bonds and cash, determined to create income while protecting principal. Pundits of these TDFs propose that retirees expected to be in retirement for 20 to 30 years or more need the capital appreciation given by equity exposure to keep them from outlasting their retirement savings.

One more consideration is the contrasting glide paths followed by every provider of target date funds. The Fidelity Freedom 2030 Fund is expected to hold 53% equities, 40% bonds and 7% cash at retirement in 2030, a more aggressive allocation than the T. Rowe Price Target 2030 Fund, which would hold 42.5% equities and 57.5% bonds.


  • Zacks Lifecycle Indices are benchmarks used to measure the relative performance of target-date funds.
  • Target-date funds are pooled investments that start with additional risky investments and progressively become more conservative after some time as retirement approaches.
  • Thusly, there are several Zacks Lifecycle indexes, each with a date relating with the terminal date of target-date funds, commonly in 10-year increases