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Retail Financial Advice: Does One Size Fit All?

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Foerster
  • Juhani T. Linnainmaa
  • Brian T. Melzer
  • Alessandro Previtero

Abstract

Using unique data on Canadian households, we assess the impact of financial advisors on their clients' portfolios. We find that advisors induce their clients to take more risk, thereby raising expected returns. On the other hand, we find limited evidence of customization: advisors direct clients into similar portfolios independent of their clients' risk preferences and stage in the life cycle. An advisor's own portfolio is a good predictor of the client's portfolio even after controlling for the client's characteristics. This one-size-fits-all advice does not come cheap. The average client pays more than 2.7% each year in fees and thus gives up all of the equity premium gained through increased risk-taking.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Foerster & Juhani T. Linnainmaa & Brian T. Melzer & Alessandro Previtero, 2014. "Retail Financial Advice: Does One Size Fit All?," NBER Working Papers 20712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20712
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriele Foà & Leonardo Gambacorta & Luigi Guiso & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2015. "The Supply Side of Household Finance," EIEF Working Papers Series 1507, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2015.
    2. John Y. Campbell, 2016. "Restoring Rational Choice: The Challenge of Consumer Financial Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 1-30, May.
    3. Claire Célérier & Boris Vallée, 2016. "Catering to investors through product complexity," ESRB Working Paper Series 14, European Systemic Risk Board.
    4. Salvatore Piccolo & Giovanni W. Puopolo & Luis Vasconcelos, 2016. "Non-Exclusive Financial Advice," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(6), pages 2079-2123.
    5. repec:eee:joreco:v:30:y:2016:i:c:p:131-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cristian Badarinza & John Y. Campbell & Tarun Ramadorai, 2016. "International Comparative Household Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 111-144, October.
    7. Zhi Da & Borja Larrain & Clemens Sialm & José Tessada, 2016. "Coordinated Noise Trading: Evidence from Pension Fund Reallocations," NBER Working Papers 22161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Groenborg, Niels & Lunde, Asger & Timmermann, Allan G & Wermers, Russ, 2017. "Picking Funds with Confidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 11896, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Zhuoqiong (Charlie) Chen & Tobias Gesche, 2016. "Persistent bias in advice-giving," ECON - Working Papers 228, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2017.
    10. Leonardo Gambacorta & Luigi Guiso & Paolo Mistrulli & Andrea Pozzi & Anton Tsoy, 2017. "The Cost of Distorted Financial Advice - Evidence from the Mortgage Market," EIEF Working Papers Series 1713, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Oct 2017.
    11. Niels S. Grønborg & Asger Lunde & Allan Timmermann & Russ Wermers, 1303. "Picking Funds with Confidence," CREATES Research Papers 2017-13, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    12. repec:eee:jbfina:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:76-95 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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