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Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan

  • Julie Agnew
  • Pierluigi Balduzzi
  • Annika Sundén

We study nearly 7,000 retirement accounts during the April 1994-August 1998 period. Several interesting patterns emerge. Most asset allocations are extreme (either 100 percent or zero percent in equities) and there is inertia in asset allocations. Equity allocations are higher for males, married investors, and for investors with higher earnings and more seniority on the job; equity allocations are lower for older investors. There is very limited portfolio reshuffling, in sharp contrast to discount brokerage accounts. Daily changes in equity allocations correlate only weakly with same-day equity returns and do not correlate with future equity returns.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282803321455223
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 93 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 193-215

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:93:y:2003:i:1:p:193-215
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282803321455223
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  1. Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992. "Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
  2. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
  3. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, 04.
  4. Anthony W. Lynch & Pierluigi Balduzzi, 1998. "Predictability and Transaction Costs: The Impact on Rebalancing Rules and Behavior," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-049, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
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