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Is Unbiased Financial Advice to Retail Investors Sufficient? Answers from a Large Field Study

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  • Utpal Bhattacharya
  • Andreas Hackethal
  • Simon Kaesler
  • Benjamin Loos
  • Steffen Meyer

Abstract

Working with one of the largest brokerages in Germany, we record what happens when unbiased investment advice is offered to a random set of approximately 8,000 active retail customers out of the brokerage's several hundred thousand retail customers. We find that investors who most need the financial advice are least likely to obtain it. The investors who do obtain the advice (about 5%), however, hardly follow the advice and do not improve their portfolio efficiency by much. Overall, our results imply that the mere availability of unbiased financial advice is a necessary but not sufficient condition for benefiting retail investors. The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 25 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 975-1032

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:25:y:2012:i:4:p:975-1032

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Cited by:
  1. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "Money Doctors," Working Paper 69721, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    • Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2012. "Money Doctors," Working Papers 464, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    • Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2012. "Money Doctors," NBER Working Papers 18174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2012. "Money doctors," Economics Working Papers 1355, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Beyer, Max & de Meza, David & Reyniers, Diane, 2013. "Do financial advisor commissions distort client choice?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 117-119.
  3. John Chalmers & Jonathan Reuter, 2012. "What is the Impact of Financial Advisors on Retirement Portfolio Choices and Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 18158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dahlquist, Magnus & Martinez, Jose Vincente & Soderlind, Paul, . "Individual Investor Activity and Performance," Working Papers on Finance 1408, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
  5. Cici, Gjergji & Kempf, Alexander & Sorhage, Christoph, 2013. "Are financial advisors useful? Evidence from tax-motivated mutual fund flows," CFR Working Papers 12-09 [rev.2], University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  6. Lunn, Pete, 2012. "Can Policy Improve Our Financial Decision-Making?," Papers EC8, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  7. Kosfeld, Michael & Schüwer, Ulrich, 2014. "Add-on pricing in retail financial markets and the fallacies of consumer education," SAFE Working Paper Series 47, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.

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