The latest statistics are pointing to a saving grace within the economy’s shaky markets -- automatic contributions into 401(k) plans. And experts say that the market downturn would be much worse without them.

"We are dampening the volatility because there is a constant inflow of cash," said Chris Cummings, VP of marketing at Diversified Investment Advisors in Purchase, N.Y.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.