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Financial Knowledge and 401(k) Investment Performance

Author

Listed:
  • Robert L. Clark
  • Annamaria Lusardi
  • Olivia S. Mitchell

Abstract

Using a unique new dataset linking administrative data on investment performance and financial knowledge, we examine whether investors who are more financially knowledgeable earn more on their retirement plan investments, compared to their less sophisticated counterparts. We find that risk-adjusted annual expected returns are 130 basis points higher for the most financially knowledgeable employees, and those scoring higher on our Financial Knowledge Index have slightly more volatile portfolios while they do no better diversifying their portfolios than their peers. Overall, financial knowledge does appear to help people invest more profitably; this may provide a rationale for efforts to enhance financial knowledge in the population at large.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Gill & Radha Bhattacharya, 2017. "The Interaction of Financial Attitudes and Financial Knowledge: Evidence for Low-Income Hispanic Families," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 45(4), pages 497-510, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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