You were right. As I write this the S&P 500 is up 4.65% for the year. This December has been one of the worst in years. There is no Santa Claus rally this year.
Many 401(k) plans have a very limited selection of financial products and most of them are equity products. And, of course, an annuity cannot be held in a 401(k).
With the In-Marriage QDRO one spouse can transfer a portion of a 401(k) to an IRA owned by the other spouse. That IRA can be a self-directed IRA. All sorts of financial products can be purchased and held in an IRA, including real estate and annuities.
In 2017 the S&P 500 gained over 21%. You can hold onto your gains with an In-Marriage QDRO.