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The effect of personal portfolio reporting on private investors

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  • Ralf Gerhardt

    ()

  • Steffen Meyer

    ()

Abstract

Information search is costly for private households, especially in relation to their wealth. This paper investigates how retail customers react to free portfolio reporting—and thus reduced search costs—in a unique experimental setting. A large German direct bank sends portfolio reports to 10,000 customers while maintaining a control group of equal size and structure that receives no reports. Analyzing demographics as well as detailed portfolio and trade data, we find that gender, wealth, trade frequency, risk tolerance, and diversification drive the interest in portfolio information. Reading a portfolio report also triggers trading actions; thus, investors seem to appreciate the reduced information costs and act on the information. In addition to contributing to the financial literature on households’ information acquisition, this study derives valuable implications for financial institutions regarding communications and services for their customers. Copyright Swiss Society for Financial Market Research 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Ralf Gerhardt & Steffen Meyer, 2013. "The effect of personal portfolio reporting on private investors," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 27(3), pages 257-273, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:fmktpm:v:27:y:2013:i:3:p:257-273
    DOI: 10.1007/s11408-013-0214-9
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11408-013-0214-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1553-1604, August.
    2. Glaser, Markus, 2003. "Online broker investors : demographic information, investment strategy, portfolio positions, and trading activity," Papers 03-18, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    3. Julie Agnew & Pierluigi Balduzzi & Annika Sundén, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Trading in a Large 401(k) Plan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 193-215, March.
    4. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2008. "All That Glitters: The Effect of Attention and News on the Buying Behavior of Individual and Institutional Investors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 785-818, April.
    5. Donkers, Bas & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "Subjective measures of household preferences and financial decisions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 613-642, December.
    6. Todd Mitton & Keith Vorkink, 2007. "Equilibrium Underdiversification and the Preference for Skewness," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 1255-1288.
    7. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meyer, Steffen & Urban, Linda & Ahlswede, Sophie, 2016. "Does feedback on personal investment success help?," SAFE Working Paper Series 157, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Portfolio reporting; Financial information; Household portfolios; Investment behavior; D14; G21;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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