A report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute has underscored the importance of consistency in retirement savings, saying that in a database of TSP-like 401(k) programs, consistent investors had account balances of almost twice those of inconsistent ones.
Further, the median account balance–the point where half are above and half are below–was four times higher for consistent investors.
The report noted that by following a group of consistent investors over a five-year period, that group’s demographics did change in relation to all investors–they became on average older and with more tenure, both indicators of higher salaries and thus likelihood of investing more. But it said that those investors benefitted more from earnings growth even though there was no difference overall in how they allotted their investments compared to inconsistent investors.
The report also stressed the importance of not taking out loans or withdrawals, which set back account growth.