Index fund investors tend to adhere to the adage of invest for the long term, and it pays off, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Equity fund investors, on the other hand, are more inclined to trade in and out of their funds, in search of higher returns that they rarely achieve because of poor timing. As a result, index fund investors lag the returns of they funds in which they invest by just 0.46 percentage points, whereas equity fund investors trail their funds’ average returns by 1.7 percentage points, according to research by the Zero Alpha Group. The financial advisory association’s study examined the returns of 6,000 funds over 14 years ending in 2004.

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