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Performance and Employer Stock in 401(k) Plans

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  • Gur Huberman
  • Paul Sengmueller

Abstract

Participants in 401(k) retirement plans violate the basic principle of diversification by investing significant fractions of their savings in their employers' equity. This paper characterizes investors' active changes to their company stock investment over time by analyzing new inflows and transfers. The average investor seems to base active changes on salient information, paying attention to past returns, volatility, and business performance. Past returns, over a three-year horizon, predict higher inflow allocations and transfers, whereas volatility and business performance only have a weak effect. The sensitivity to past returns is asymmetric, with investors reacting more strongly to positive and above-S&P500 returns. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10679-004-2544-y
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Finance.

Volume (Year): 8 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 403-443

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Handle: RePEc:kap:eurfin:v:8:y:2004:i:3:p:403-443

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Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=111870

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Cited by:
  1. Elton, Edwin J. & Gruber, Martin J. & Blake, Christopher R., 2006. "The adequacy of investment choices offered by 401(k) plans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1299-1314, August.
  2. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "Mental Accounting in Portfolio Choice: Evidence from a Flypaper Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2085-95, December.
  3. Tang, Ning & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Mottola, Gary R. & Utkus, Stephen P., 2010. "The efficiency of sponsor and participant portfolio choices in 401(k) plans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(11-12), pages 1073-1085, December.
  4. Margarida Abreu & Victor Mendes & João A. Santos, 2010. "Home Country Bias: Does Domestic Experience Help Investors Enter Foreign Markets?," Working Papers Department of Economics 2010/02, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  5. Kumar, Alok, 2007. "Do the diversification choices of individual investors influence stock returns?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 362-390, November.
  6. Ning Tang & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "The Efficiency of Pension Plan Investment Menus: Investment Choices in Defined Contribution Pension Plans," Working Papers wp176, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  7. Djaoudath Alidou, 2011. "Les augmentations de capital réservées aux salariés en France - Employee Equity Issue:Evidence from France," Working Papers CREGO 1110603, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
  8. Nittai K. Bergman & Dirk Jenter, 2005. "Employee Sentiment and Stock Option Compensation," NBER Working Papers 11409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian, 2008. "The Flypaper Effect in Individual Investor Asset Allocation," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2560, Yale School of Management.
  10. Jeffrey R. Brown & Nellie Liang & Scott Weisbenner, 2007. "Individual account investment options and portfolio choice: Behavioral lessons from 401(k) plans," NBER Chapters, in: Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), Public Policy and Retirement, pages 1992-2013 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. John R. Graham & Campbell R. Harvey & Hai Huang, 2005. "Investor Competence, Trading Frequency, and Home Bias," NBER Working Papers 11426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Elton, Edwin J. & Gruber, Martin J. & Blake, Christopher R., 2007. "Participant reaction and the performance of funds offered by 401(k) plans," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 249-271, April.
  13. Thomas Steinberger, 2005. "Pension benefit default risk and welfare effects of funding regulation," CSEF Working Papers 147, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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