How the Big Cheese Invests

Want to know how the guy in the corner office invests? About as conservatively as he dresses, it turns out.

The higher-ups started hedging their bets in 2003, according to the Clark Executive Retirement Report, an analysis of retirement savings allocations of 28,000 executives earning more than $250,000 a year. To mitigate any disasters in a particular sector, executives spread their savings pretty evenly among the array of investment choices. Allocations in global, mid-cap, small-cap, balanced/hybrid, money market investments ranged from 6% to 12%.

Execs didn't get starry-eyed about company stock, either. Holdings of company stock stayed at about 10% of total portfolio value compared to 9% in 2002.

The bulk of the bigwigs' retirement savings -- $1.4 billion of the $2.6 billion total the suits invested last year -- sits in large-cap stocks and mutual funds (28%) and in fixed-income investments (24%).

Still, there was some reshuffling last year. Investments in international stocks and mutual funds reached nearly $172 million, a 68% increase from the previous year. Many dabbled more aggressively in small-cap investments, too, which attracted $200 million compared to $120 million the previous year. (Perhaps they were heeding the advice our own wage slave Tom Gardner puts forth in his quest for hidden gem investments.)

What other benefits do the bigwigs get (besides cushy paychecks and an executive washroom key)? Take a gander at Clark Consulting's (NYSE: CLK  ) executive benefits report (.pdf file).

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