Target-date funds that do the asset-allocation and rebalancing decisions for those of us with a "set it and forget it" approach to retirement...

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NEW YORK — Target-date funds that do the asset-allocation and rebalancing decisions for those of us with a “set it and forget it” approach to retirement investing are growing in popularity. But benchmarking them was hard until recently.

A new series of indexes launched by Dow Jones may help investors gauge the performance of these all-in-one products, which start out with an aggressive mix of stocks and bonds and gradually adjust to more conservative positions.

Target-date funds are essentially self-contained portfolios of several different mutual funds. They differ from a static balanced fund in that their allocation changes automatically as an investor’s retirement approaches.

Also called “life-cycle” funds, their asset levels have more than doubled since 2000 as providers and retirement-plan sponsors roll out new offerings.

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Investors can access the indexes on the Dow Jones Indexes Web site, at www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/portfolio/index.cfm.