IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v55y2009i10p1688-1703.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Decision Support for Retirement Portfolio Management: Overcoming Myopic Loss Aversion via Technology Design

Author

Listed:
  • Clayton Arlen Looney

    () (School of Business Administration, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 59812)

  • Andrew M. Hardin

    () (College of Business, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154)

Abstract

As firms continue to abandon pensions in favor of employee-managed retirement plans, tremendous demands are being placed on the decision-making proficiency of future retirees. As reflected in the equity premium puzzle, individual investors tend to hold overly conservative portfolios that provide meager payoffs over time. Consequently, there is growing concern that the vast majority of retirement accounts might be insufficiently funded when employees reach retirement. Given that most retirement plans can now be managed online, a potential solution lies in designing a Web-based decision support system (DSS) that helps future retirees make more-profitable portfolio management decisions. This paper reports the results of a study in which 159 retirement plan participants were asked to use an experimental website to manage a portfolio of retirement investments over a simulated 30-year period. Using a psychological approach toward designing the DSS, myopic loss aversion is put forth as a theoretical explanation for the psychological mechanisms that encourage investors to hold overly conservative portfolios. Armed with this knowledge, three design features--information horizon, system restrictiveness, and decisional guidance--are implemented as part of an overarching design strategy targeted at increasing investors' willingness to take calculated risks. The results indicate that investor conservatism diminishes when the DSS presents prospective probabilities and payoffs over long time horizons. In contrast, short-term information horizons constitute a major stumbling block for investors. However, when confronted with short-term information horizons, risk aversion can be successfully counteracted by configuring a DSS to either restrict the frequency of decisions or to suggest a relatively aggressive portfolio allocation. These findings carry important implications for theory and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Clayton Arlen Looney & Andrew M. Hardin, 2009. "Decision Support for Retirement Portfolio Management: Overcoming Myopic Loss Aversion via Technology Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(10), pages 1688-1703, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:10:p:1688-1703
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1090.1052
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
    2. Uri Gneezy & Jan Potters, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-645.
    3. Venkatraman, Srinivasan & Aloysius, John A. & Davis, Fred D., 2006. "Multiple prospect framing and decision behavior: The mediational roles of perceived riskiness and perceived ambiguity," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 59-73, September.
    4. Drazen Prelec & George Loewenstein, 1991. "Decision Making Over Time and Under Uncertainty: A Common Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(7), pages 770-786, July.
    5. Richard H. Thaler & Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman & Alan Schwartz, 1997. "The Effect of Myopia and Loss Aversion on Risk Taking: An Experimental Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 647-661.
    6. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    7. Bettman, James R & Kakkar, Pradeep, 1977. " Effects of Information Presentation Format on Consumer Information Acquisition Strategies," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 233-240, March.
    8. Michael S. Haigh & John A. List, 2005. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 523-534, February.
    9. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    10. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S Mitchelli, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 35-44, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "The Internet and the Investor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 41-54, Winter.
    13. Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
    14. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1999. "Risk Aversion or Myopia? Choices in Repeated Gambles and Retirement Investments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(3), pages 364-381, March.
    15. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    16. Stephen J. Hoch & David A. Schkade, 1996. "A Psychological Approach to Decision Support Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(1), pages 51-64, January.
    17. Uri Gneezy & Arie Kapteyn & Jan Potters, 2003. "Evaluation Periods and Asset Prices in a Market Experiment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 821-838, April.
    18. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia Mitchell, 2006. "Financial Literacy and Retirement Preparedness: Evidence and Implications for Financial Education Programs," Working Papers wp144, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    19. Yaniv, Ilan, 2004. "Receiving other people's advice: Influence and benefit," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-13, January.
    20. David Hirshleifer, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1533-1597, August.
    21. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough or Don't Pay at All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810.
    22. Gneezy, U. & Kapteyn, A. & Potters, J.J.M., 2003. "Evaluation periods and asset prices in a market experience," Other publications TiSEM 55910884-79d7-483c-abbb-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    23. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    24. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
    25. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    26. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
    27. Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
    28. Harvey, Nigel & Fischer, Ilan, 1997. "Taking Advice: Accepting Help, Improving Judgment, and Sharing Responsibility," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 117-133, May.
    29. Sunden, Annika E & Surette, Brian J, 1998. "Gender Differences in the Allocation of Assets in Retirement Savings Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 207-211, May.
    30. Gerrit H. van Bruggen & Ale Smidts & Berend Wierenga, 1998. "Improving Decision Making by Means of a Marketing Decision Support System," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(5), pages 645-658, May.
    31. Wood, Robert E., 1986. "Task complexity: Definition of the construct," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 60-82, February.
    32. Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
    33. Bonaccio, Silvia & Dalal, Reeshad S., 2006. "Advice taking and decision-making: An integrative literature review, and implications for the organizational sciences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 127-151, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hardin, Andrew M. & Looney, Clayton Arlen, 2012. "Myopic loss aversion: Demystifying the key factors influencing decision problem framing," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 311-331.
    2. Di Giacinto, Marina & Federico, Salvatore & Gozzi, Fausto & Vigna, Elena, 2014. "Income drawdown option with minimum guarantee," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(3), pages 610-624.
    3. Hoffmann, Arvid O.I. & Post, Thomas, 2014. "Self-attribution bias in consumer financial decision-making: How investment returns affect individuals’ belief in skill," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 23-28.
    4. repec:eee:insuma:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:172-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Reyers, Michelle & van Schalkwyk, Cornelis Hendrik & Gouws, Daniël Gerhardus, 2015. "Rational and behavioural predictors of pre-retirement cash-outs," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 23-33.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:55:y:2009:i:10:p:1688-1703. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.