Financial Knowledge and 401(K) Investment Performance

29 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2014

See all articles by Robert L. Clark

Robert L. Clark

North Carolina State University - Poole College of Management

Annamaria Lusardi

Stanford University - Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, Pension Research Council; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2014

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

Clark, Robert L. and Lusardi, Annamaria and Mitchell, Olivia S., Financial Knowledge and 401(K) Investment Performance (May 2014). Pension Research Council WP 2014-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2522965 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2522965

Robert L. Clark

North Carolina State University - Poole College of Management ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695-8614
United States
919-515-5560 (Phone)
919-515-5564 (Fax)

Annamaria Lusardi

Stanford University - Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research ( email )

366 Galvez Street
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building
Stanford, CA CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://siepr.stanford.edu/people/annamaria-lusardi

Olivia S. Mitchell (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, Pension Research Council ( email )

3302 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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