The Costs and Benefits of Financial Advice
Abstract : We assess the value that financial advisors provide to clients using a unique panel dataset on the Canadian financial advisory industry. We find that advisors influence investors’ trading choices, but they do not add value through their investment recommendations when judged relative to passive investment benchmarks. The value-weighted client portfolio lags passive benchmarks by more than 2.5% per year net of fees, and even the best performing advisors fail to produce returns that reliably cover their fees. We show that differences in clients’ financial knowledge cannot account for the cross-sectional variation in fees, which implies that lack of financial sophistication is not the driving force behind the high fees. Advisors do, however, influence client savings behavior, risky asset holdings, and trading activity, which suggests that benefits related to financial planning may account for investors’ willingness to accept high fees on investment advice.Paper by Stephen Foerster, Juhani Linnainmaa, Brian Melzer Alessandro Previtero ,March 8, 2014 Read the Research Paper
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