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Everybody loves a 'sale' -- except in the stock market

The Depressitriggered long bear market but study says thinvestors who continued buy stocks would have reaped greater rewards than investors

The Depression triggered a long bear market, but a study says that investors who continued to buy stocks would have reaped greater rewards than investors who purchased stocks just ahead of a bull market.

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Updated: May 3, 2013 12:13PM

You've heard the expression "timing is everything." That holds true in the stock market as well as in life. Most people have bad timing when it comes to investing because they're led by their emotions. So it might be better to say that when it comes to investing, the most important thing is "time in the market," not "timing the market."

Financial Engines, the 401(k) plan adviser used by 120 of the Fortune 500 companies to offer individualized investment advice to plan participants, has just examined the portfolios of more than 2.8 million plan participants in 272 employer plans.

(If your company doesn't offer Financial Engines, you can get a free one-year trial by clicking on the box at

The latest report is dismal -- not only because of the downturn in the markets two years ago, but because employees panicked and instead of continuing to invest, they cut back on their contributions and chose "safer" funds.

As a result, Financial Engines projects that the typical participant will be able to replace only 45 percent of pre-retirement income -- compared with a 70 percent goal.


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