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isn't the objective is to get the money in good when the market is down?

get most of the maximum contribution in the first 3 months of 2019?

If you believe that the market will end 2019 higher than it began, then it's probably better to front load your contribution, in order to max it out in the first few months. If you believe that the market end 2019 lower than it began, then it would probably be better to backload the contribution. If you think that it will end at about the same level, or you have no idea if it will be higher or lower, then making equal contributions throughout the year is probably the best bet.*

But the question is - why do you think one outcome is more likely than the other, because you really are trying to time the market.

*If there is a matching contribution requires a certain percent contributed each paycheck, then you should probably try to make at least that contribution for each paycheck. This is probably true even if there is a 'true-up' since the true-up often doesn't happen until a month or two after the year is over, thus delaying getting the match into the market. As always, YMMV, and you need to run your own numbers for your specific plan provisions.

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