From the May 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Smart Choice

The originators of the Save More Tomorrow (SMarT) system--Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago and Shlomo Benartzi of UCLA--describe SMarT as a "choice architecture system" based on using principles that underlie people's behavior to help them behave in ways that are ultimately good for them. Three of these principles are:

1) Many retirement plan participants think they should save more, but don't follow through on their good intentions.

2) Self-control restrictions are easier to adopt if they take place in the future.

3) Inertia is a powerful factor in maintaining the status quo.

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