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You could have bought CDs, and gained 4-8% interest. And you would have paid taxes on the money that you put in, and you would have paid taxes on the interest that you made. You put it in a tax-deferred 401k, and you may have been making 15% or more tax-deferred.

In 90%+ cases, any given investment in a 401k will be better than an equivalent investment in a taxable account. You made the right decision to put money in, although you might want to check about how you allocated the money.
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