Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

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More than four in 10 U.S. households own mutual funds and half of mutual fund–owning households indicate they have ongoing advisory relationships. Financial advisers provide a wide range of investment and planning services in addition to helping investors select and purchase mutual fund shares. Using a variety of household surveys, this chapter delves into when, why, and how mutual fund investors interact with financial advisers. For example, the research explores whether certain “trigger” events prompt fund investors to seek professional financial advice. Investors typically receive multiple services and choose to work with financial advisers because advisers have expertise in areas investors do not. In addition, investors interact with advisers in a variety of ways (e.g., collaboratively versus the adviser or investor taking the lead; investor conducting their own research). The chapter also analyzes whether certain mutual fund investors are more likely than others to work with financial advisers.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2013 publication: The Market for Retirement Financial Advice.

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Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the author and not those of any institutions supporting the research with whom the author is affiliated, the Investment Company Institute or its members, the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. © 2012 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


The author thanks Steven Bass, Michael Bogdan, and Daniel Schrass for their expert research assistance with this paper.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 28 June 2019