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Delegated asset management and performance when some investors are unsophisticated

Steven Malliaris and A.G. Malliaris
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Anastasios G. Malliaris ()

Journal of Banking & Finance, 2021, vol. 133, issue C

Abstract: 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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G11 G18 G23 G53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2021.106289

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