Will there be a hedge fund in your 401(k) plan anytime soon?

USA Today reporter, Adam Shell reports, in his Friday story, Investors add a bit of hedge fund to investment mix, that hedge funds are going retail.

Mr. Shell reports that:

Since the start of 2003, the number of mutual funds that utilize hedge fund strategies has more than doubled, to 49 from 21, Lipper says. And 12 of these funds — dubbed "equity-market neutral" and "long/short equity" — were born this year alone, a 32% jump from 2005.

He also tells us that:

The rising popularity of these funds prompted fund expert Morningstar to create its first "long-short" category in March. Assets have surged 42% to $16.1 billion from $11.3 billion in nine months. Major fund companies such as Janus, American Century, Rydex, Dreyfus and Charles Schwab now offer these so-called alternative funds.

Not quite the $50 billion that Lipper tells us is in target-maturity funds, the newest kid on the 401(k) block, but my guess is that hedge funds will start to move in soon.