40 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2007 Last revised: 1 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 1, 2008
This paper is an early response to Campbell's (2006) call to analyze the role of financial intermediaries in household finance. We first sketch a basic theory of financial advice that proceeds from cognitive errors and costly information acquisition. We then derive hypotheses about honest and deceptive financial advice and test them on a unique administrative dataset from a large German retail bank. We find that the clients advised are older, wealthier, more risk averse and more likely to be female. Financial advice enhances portfolio diversification, makes investor portfolios more congruent with predefined model portfolios, and increases investors' fee expenses. Our empirical evidence is broadly in line with honest financial advice. A general implication of the paper is that financial advisory service has a significant impact on household investment behavior and that it deserves more attention in future research on household finance.
Keywords: Household finance, financial advice, investment behavior
JEL Classification: D14, G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Bluethgen, Ralph and Gintschel, Andreas and Hackethal, Andreas and Mueller, Armin, Financial Advice and Individual Investors' Portfolios (March 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=968197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.968197
By Marc Kramer