Using the 2007–2009 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) panel dataset, this study investigated the relationship between subjective income risks and stock ownership of 2,386 households with a working head before and after the Great Recession. We used subjective income uncertainty as a proxy for subjective income risks. A two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimation with an instrumental variables (IV) approach was used to reduce potential selection bias. The results suggested that households that were more likely to face subjective income uncertainty were less likely to hold stock assets in their portfolios. We confirmed this negative relationship between subjective income risks and stock ownership using tests of robustness.
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- Go to article: Financial Risk Tolerance Before and After a Stock Market Shock: Testing the Recency Bias Hypothesis
Is there an association between a household financial decision maker's risk tolerance and the performance of the stock market? Some researchers argue that financial market events have little association with the financial risk tolerance (FRT) of household financial decision makers, while others argue that FRT among individuals can vary in relation to significant market fluctuations. The applicability of either argument may depend on the length of the period before and after a major market event. The purpose of this study was to evaluate aggregate changes in FRT around a major stock market event for different anchor time periods and to test the recency bias hypothesis. The analyses were designed to explore the FRT of Americans during a volatile multimonth period of stock market performance in 2018–2019. Several univariate, bivariate, and multivariate tests were used to compare FRT assessment scores pre- and post-October 3rd, 2018 (i.e., the market high in 2018). A decrease in FRT from the market high was noted across the sample; however, the decrease was exhibited most acutely by younger, nonmarried respondents with few investable assets. A noteworthy finding from this study is that financial counselors and financial planners likely serve a “buffering” role when household financial decision makers experience stock market shocks.
- Go to article: Childhood Financial Socialization and Debt-Related Financial Well-Being Indicators in Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to explore the potential influence of childhood financial socialization on financial well-being in adulthood. Using a sample (N = 2,213) from De Nederlandsche Bank Household Survey (DHS) we modeled the likelihood of household debt/asset ratio less than or equal to 40%, and the likelihood of a household reporting a current ratio (liquid asset /short-term debt ratio) greater than or equal to 100%. Consistent with predictions of social learning theory, being encouraged to save during childhood had a positive association with meeting the financial planning industry benchmarks for these financial ratios in adulthood. The key implication is that the path to financial well-being does not begin with financial knowledge attained in adulthood, but instead begins with experiential learning and socialization during childhood.
This study investigated whether spending habits before and during the Great Recession predicted financial distress. Financial distress was defined as failing to make mortgage and non-mortgage loan payments on time. Data from the 2007–2009 panel of the Survey of Consumer Finances revealed that one’s prerecession spending habit did not seem to matter. Respondents who reported in the earlier wave that they spent more than income but had begun to spend less than income during the recession were twice as likely to become financially distressed. However, those who were spending more than their income during the recession were three times as likely to be financially distressed. Being in good health, having income certainty, and above average risk tolerance lowered the odds of financial distress.
- Go to article: The Utilization of Robo-Advisors by Individual Investors: An Analysis Using Diffusion of Innovation and Information Search Frameworks
The Utilization of Robo-Advisors by Individual Investors: An Analysis Using Diffusion of Innovation and Information Search Frameworks
This study examines the roles of internal and external search characteristics and attitudinal factors in investors' decisions to utilize robo-advisor-based platforms. Using the 2015 state-by-state National Financial Capability Study and Investor Survey, this study finds that the need to free up time, higher risk tolerance, higher subjective financial knowledge, and higher amounts of investable assets were positively associated with individual investors' adoption of robo-advisors. Additionally, the results from the interaction model indicates that individuals under 65 with a higher risk tolerance and greater perceived investment knowledge were more likely to use robo-advisors. Implications of the key findings for scholars, practitioners, and industry leaders are included.
Financial planners face a consistent challenge to help clients understand the trade-off between risk and return. Most clients relate to the idea of a targeted level of expected return to achieve specific wealth goals but with limited understanding of the required risk. Extended investment horizons require client discipline when market volatility appears to be enhancing the possibility of loss of wealth. The purpose of this article is to illustrate that bearing the risk associated with market volatility can reward clients with the achievement of targeted portfolio returns, even during times of great financial and economic uncertainty. Data from 1994 to 2013 is used to create hypothetical portfolios consisting of stock and bond allocations designed to target specific client return objectives. Graphical charts illustrate the resulting annual volatility associated with multiyear investment horizons. Financial planners can use these examples to better communicate the historical volatility associated with portfolios constructed to deliver target levels of return to clients.
This article describes the unique benefits of discourse analysis, a qualitative sociolinguistic research methodology, for evaluating financial literacy counseling. The methodology is especially promising for organizations that may lack the resources to implement “gold standard” large scale, randomized, experimental, or quasi-experimental longitudinal designs. We begin with an overview of problems with program evaluation research on financial literacy interventions, particularly for smaller community service agencies. We lay out the advantages of discourse analysis as an alternative method of assessing program quality. We include a pilot study demonstrating the use of the research approach, and we conclude the description of this study with specific guidelines as to “best practices” indicated from the results. We believe discourse analysis has the potential to make data collection and analysis easier and more effective for counselors and agency staff at community service organizations, especially when the work of program evaluation is being done by the service providers themselves and the client needs may be atypical, complex, or very specific.
We surveyed high school students in Southern California to investigate whether there is an improvement in financial attitudes from eight class periods of financial literacy intervention in a high school economics course. We examine whether the money management (MM) and financial investing (FI) components of financial instruction influence attitudes differently and whether they each influence attitudes beyond a standard economics course. We find that the MM treatment influences being thrifty and delaying gratification. Both treatments increase risk-taking behavior, with neither treatment being more important than the other. Within the confines of our experiment, exposure to economics per se did not influence any of the financial attitudes, pointing to the need for financial education to inculcate healthy financial attitudes in high school children.
Financial coaching is an emerging strategy to help people enhance financial capability and well-being. However, few studies of coaching practices have been completed. A survey of 273 coaches in the United States provides insight into current coaching practice. The average coach in the survey served 19 clients per month and saw each client about four times. The range of coaches varied widely; many coaches operated at a relatively small scale, often embedded in social service programs. Coaches generally reported coaching had positive impacts on clients, especially coaches with more training and those who served more clients. Overall, this study shows the financial coaching field includes an array of approaches but may benefit from capacity building and adoption of standards of practice.
Families that have a child with Down syndrome (DS) are facing financial challenges due to the increased life expectancy and daily life dependencies that he or she experiences. This article uses pediatric findings to supplement child mortality impairment assumptions and proposes a combination annuity pricing model to explore an annuity solution for families that have a child with DS. A Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation model is constructed with features such as a fixed death benefit, return of premium, different premium payment patterns, and the widowhood effect factor. The results indicate that such a product is generally affordable for families that have a child with DS to cover their child’s longevity risk and increased dependency needs.