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Retirement Savings Portfolio Management

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  • Jeff Dominitz

    (RAND)

  • Angela Hung

    (RAND)

Abstract

We assess the welfare implications of alternative retirement plan investment options given that households may not invest according to optimal portfolio choice theory but may instead use simple decision rules. We simulate the performance of lifestyle, lifecycle, and other simple strategies for allocating retirement savings. We find that if investors use simple rules of thumb to choose investments, then the impact of these strategies on welfare depend to a large extent on the choice set they are offered. If larger choice sets cause them to undertake more risk, then risk tolerant individuals may tend to be made better off. If larger choice sets cause them to reduce suboptimally low levels of portfolio risk, then the increased choice set may make them substantially worse off. The welfare effects of plan designs that induce lifecycle investing, which tends to be conservative over the lifetime, therefore depend crucially on the counterfactual portfolio composition, as well as preferences and non-retirement wealth.

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File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp138.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp138.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp138

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  1. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  2. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "For Better or for Worse: Default Effects and 401(k) Savings Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 81-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  4. Canner, Niko & Mankiw, N Gregory & Weil, David N, 1997. "An Asset Allocation Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 181-91, March.
  5. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Robert M. Dammon & Chester S. Spatt & Harold H. Zhang, 2004. "Optimal Asset Location and Allocation with Taxable and Tax-Deferred Investing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 999-1037, 06.
  7. James M. Poterba & Joshua Rauh & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2009. "Reducing Social Security PRA Risk at the Individual Level: Life-Cycle Funds and No-Loss Strategies," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment, pages 255-292 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "How Should We Measure Consumer Confidence?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 51-66, Spring.
  10. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  11. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 2007. "Expected Equity Returns and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 369-379, 04-05.
  12. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  13. Ravi Jagannathan & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Why should older people invest less in stock than younger people?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 11-23.
  14. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Choi, James J. & Laibson, David & Metrick, Andrew, 2002. "How does the Internet affect trading? Evidence from investor behavior in 401(k) plans," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 397-421, June.
  16. Gur Huberman & Wei Jiang, 2006. "Offering versus Choice in 401(k) Plans: Equity Exposure and Number of Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 763-801, 04.
  17. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
  18. Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2001. "Naive Diversification Strategies in Defined Contribution Saving Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 79-98, March.
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