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Overcoming Inertia: Do Automated Saving and Investing Strategies Work?

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  • Barbara O’Neill

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    Abstract

    Many workers do not take advantage of savings opportunities provided to them at their workplace, nor do they always make wise investment decisions regarding employer plans. Various automated strategies have been implemented by employers with the objective of increasing retirement plan participation and, hence, the financial security of workers. Automatic strategies work by proactively arranging some type of action (e.g., plan enrollment) to occur unless people specifically opt out. This article examines and synthesizes previous empirical research about five automatic savings and investing strategies: (a) automatic retirement savings plan enrollment, (b) automatic contribution increases, (c) automatic portfolio rebalancing, (d) automatic rollovers, and (e) automatic investment plans. Advantages and disadvantages of each strategy are discussed, along with implications for financial educators. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10834-007-9063-x
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 321-335

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jfamec:v:28:y:2007:i:2:p:321-335

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=104904

    Related research

    Keywords: Automatic investing; Automatic retirement plan enrollment; 401(k) plans;

    References

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    1. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "Are Empowerment and Education Enough? Underdiversification in 401(k) Plans," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 151-214.
    2. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2000. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," NBER Working Papers 7682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. David Okech, 2011. "Enrollment Decisions in a Child Development Accounts Program for Low-Income Families," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 400-410, September.
    2. Cynthia Sanders & Shirley Porterfield, 2010. "The Ownership Society and Women: Exploring Female Householders’ Ability to Accumulate Assets," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 90-106, March.
    3. Aydogan Ulker, 2009. "Wealth Holdings and Portfolio Allocation of the Elderly: The Role of Marital History," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 90-108, March.
    4. Mitchell Marsden & Cathleen Zick & Robert Mayer, 2011. "The Value of Seeking Financial Advice," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 625-643, December.
    5. Chang-Keun Han & Michael Sherraden, 2009. "Attitudes and Saving in Individual Development Accounts: Latent Class Analysis," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 226-236, September.

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