One of the biggest mysteries to emerge from the recession is why investors have stuck with their 401(k) in the face of a 55% market decline between October 2007 and March 2009.

The simple reason, The Wall Street Journal reports, is the payroll deductions every two weeks continuously pump up participants’ balances, and unwitting, disengaged investors see their balances holding steady. Instead, they actually should be looking at performance. And if they did, more of them would bail out of the market.

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