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Time is money: Rational life cycle inertia and the delegation of investment management

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  • Kim, Hugh Hoikwang
  • Maurer, Raimond
  • Mitchell, Olivia S.

Abstract

Many households display inertia in investment management over their life cycles. Our calibrated dynamic life cycle portfolio choice model can account for such an apparently ‘irrational’ outcome, by incorporating the fact that investors must forgo acquiring job-specific skills when they spend time managing their money, and their efficiency in financial decision making varies with age. Resulting inertia patterns mesh well with findings from prior studies and our own empirical results from Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data. We also analyze how people optimally choose between actively managing their assets versus delegating the task to financial advisors. Delegation proves valuable to both the young and the old. Our calibrated model quantifies welfare gains from including investment time and money costs as well as delegation in a life cycle setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim, Hugh Hoikwang & Maurer, Raimond & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2016. "Time is money: Rational life cycle inertia and the delegation of investment management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 427-447.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:121:y:2016:i:2:p:427-447
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2016.03.008
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    Cited by:

    1. Vanya Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2016. "Putting the Pension Back in 401(k) Plans: Optimal versus Default Longevity Income Annuities," NBER Working Papers 22717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Calcagno, Riccardo & Giofré, Maela & Urzì-Brancati, Maria Cesira, 2017. "To trust is good, but to control is better: How investors discipline financial advisors’ activity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 287-316.
    3. Maurer, Raimond & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Rogalla, Ralph & Schimetschek, Tatjana, 2017. "Optimal social security claiming behavior under lump sum incentives: Theory and evidence," SAFE Working Paper Series 164, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    4. Robert L. Clark & Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2014. "Financial Knowledge and 401(k) Investment Performance," NBER Working Papers 20137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Portfolio inertia; Life cycle saving; Household finance; Human capital; Financial advice;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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