The best retirement investment you can’t have
(Read more: Six feet under as a retirement plan?)
While Judge touts the private equity performance, it's debatable whether 401(k) savers really should feel left out of the game. It might not be a game you want to play. And alternative equity investments are starting to make their way down to the level of the retail investor.
"My general preference would be to avoid asset classes with a higher probability for volatility in a vehicle that should be making capital preservation its highest priority," said Tim Maurer, vice president at The Financial Consulate.
Individual savers do face a crisis akin to the underfunded status of the largest public pension plans. Study after study has shown that financial fragility has hit those who are in the critical retirement saving stage. The latest study from Wells Fargo found that 69 percent of middle-class Americans—making between $25,000 and $100,000—have no savings plan.
An avalanche of bills, credit card debt and exceptionally large mortgages are hindering individuals from investing in their retirement portfolios, according to George Washington University economics professor Annamaria Lusardi.
"To the degree that any alternative investment in a pension plan lowers the overall portfolio's standard deviation, I'm interested," Maurer said, but he added, "I have very little interest in re-prioritizing growth over capital preservation for pension plans as well as portfolios for individuals in or near retirement."
—By Anthony Volastro, CNBC Segment Producer.