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Retirement Security Law Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Retirement Security Law

Behavioral Finance, Decumulation And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert Jul 2018

Behavioral Finance, Decumulation And The Regulatory Strategy For Robo-Advice, Tom Baker, Benedict Dellaert

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This working paper surveys the decumulation services offered by investment robo-advisors as a case study with which to examine regulatory and market structure issues raised by automated financial advice. We provide a short introduction to decumulation, describing some of the uncertainties involved in identifying optimal decumulation strategies and sketching a few of the ‘rules of thumb’ that financial advisors have developed in this area in the face of this uncertainty. Next we describe behavioral effects that could inhibit consumers from following an optimal decumulation strategy, concluding that, left to their own devices, consumers are likely to make sub-optimal decumulation decisions ...


Why Do Retail Investors Make Costly Mistakes? An Experiment On Mutual Fund Choice, Jill E. Fisch, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Jan 2014

Why Do Retail Investors Make Costly Mistakes? An Experiment On Mutual Fund Choice, Jill E. Fisch, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is mounting evidence that retail investors make predictable, costly investment mistakes, including underinvestment, naïve diversification, and payment of excessive fund fees. Over the past thirty-five years, however, participant-directed 401(k) plans have largely replaced professionally managed pension plans, requiring unsophisticated retail investors to navigate the financial markets themselves. Policy-makers have struggled with regulatory interventions designed to improve the quality of investment decisions without a clear understanding of the reasons for investor mistakes. Absent such an understanding, it is difficult to design effective regulatory responses.

This article offers a first step in understanding the investor decision-making process. We use an ...


Evidence And Ideology In Assessing The Effectiveness Of Financial Literacy Education, Lauren E. Willis Apr 2008

Evidence And Ideology In Assessing The Effectiveness Of Financial Literacy Education, Lauren E. Willis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Financial literacy education has long been promoted as key to consumer financial well-being. Yet the claim has never had more than negligible statistically significant empirical support. This review (1) sets forth the model of financial literacy education underlying public support for these programs today, (2) identifies pervasive and serious limitations in existing empirical research used by policymakers as evidence of the effectiveness of this education, and (3) recommends a number of alternative public policies suggested by the existing research.


Against Financial Literacy Education, Lauren E. Willis Mar 2008

Against Financial Literacy Education, Lauren E. Willis

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The dominant model of regulation in the United States for consumer credit, insurance, and investment products is disclosure and unfettered choice. As these products have become increasingly complex, consumers’ inability to understand them has become increasingly apparent, and the consequences of this inability more dire. In response, policymakers have embraced financial literacy education as a necessary corollary to the disclosure model of regulation. This education is widely believed to turn consumers into “responsible” and “empowered” market players, motivated and competent to make financial decisions that increase their own welfare. The vision is of educated consumers handling their own credit, insurance ...