Despite the significant growth of liquid alternative mutual funds - from just 132 managing $32.6 billion at the end of 2006 to 484 managing $171.6 billion today - the strategies have made little headway into the portfolios of company-sponsored retirement plans, a segment that could be a prime candidate for alternative investment options. The largely bull market that has persisted in recent years may have contributed to their inability to break through, with one analyst estimating alts account for less than 1% of company-sponsored plans. Education and access to alternatives remain the largest barriers to funds expanding their presence in this potential growth area.
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