Delegated Asset Management and Performance When Some Investors Are Unsophisticated
50 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 5, 2021
Households with limited financial expertise sometimes attempt to avoid investment mistakes by delegating the management of their investments to experts. However, evidence on the efficacy of delegation has been mixed. This paper contributes to understanding the question: why is the acquired expertise of asset managers a limited substitute for investors' lack of expertise? We consider an economy with investors (who vary in sophistication) and managers (who vary in skill). Unsophisticated investors' lack of expertise makes it hard for them to distinguish skilled managers from unskilled ones. In the equilibrium that follows, investors exert little effort when searching for managers, leading to a suboptimal composition of managerial types entering the market. When unsophisticated investors are endowed with weak signals, they attempt to time their entry and exit from the market for managers, but their actions are predictable, so performance continues to suffer.
Keywords: delegated asset management, financial risks, financial advice, expertise, career concerns, reputation, market timing
JEL Classification: G11, G18, G23, G53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation