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Advertising and Portfolio Choice

  • Henrik Cronqvist

    ()

    (The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business, Department of Finance)

Using a unique large-scale event, the year 2000 launch of a privatized social security system involving individual savings accounts in Sweden, I report empirical evidence on the link between fund advertising and people’s fund and portfolio choices. First, content analysis reveals that a very small portion of ads can be construed as directly informative about characteristics relevant for rational mutual fund investors, such as funds’ expense ratios. Second, higher levels of advertising expenditures do not appear to signal ex ante higher unobservable fund manager quality or talent. Third, fund advertising affects people’s portfolio choices, even when advertising does not appear to contain any information. Finally, fund advertising steers people to portfolios with lower returns and higher risk. My results have important implications for a welfare analysis of fund advertising and portfolio choices, asset pricing models, and mutual fund industry policy making, and may serve as a starting point for wider and more formal analysis of the effects of advertising, marketing, and persuasion in financial markets.

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Paper provided by Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy) in its series CeRP Working Papers with number 44.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crp:wpaper:44
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  17. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "Persuasion in Finance," NBER Working Papers 11838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Darryll Hendricks & Jayendu Patel & Richard Zeckhauser, 1990. "Hot Hands in Mutual Funds: The Persistence of Performance, 1974-87," NBER Working Papers 3389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Ross, Stephen A, 1978. "A Simple Approach to the Valuation of Risky Streams," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 453-75, July.
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  23. Elton, Edwin J, et al, 1993. "Efficiency with Costly Information: A Reinterpretation of Evidence from Managed Portfolios," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22.
  24. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. " Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 65-91, March.
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