Subjectivity in Judgements: Further Evidence from the Financial Planning Industry

Institutional Investor
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Journal of Wealth Management, 2007, 10 (3), pp. 17 - 24
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Asset allocation is a critical component of portfolio performance and is a significant component of the advice provided by financial plan-ners. The fiduciary obligation of financial planners is to provide investment advice that is appropriate to a client's personal circumstances. Academic research has found evidence of inconsistencies in advice provided by financial advisors. Using a survey of 352 Australian financial planners, the article also finds inconsistencies in a hypothetical asset allocation decision. These inconsistencies may be attributed to the presence of subjective judgment in the decision-making process due to the presence of various psychological factors such as expectations, traits, and biases, the lack of any standardized method for collecting information from clients, and different assumptions, perceptions, and interpretations based on the financial planner's own knowledge, experience, intuitions, and skill sets. The choice of financial planners influences the asset allocation and ultimately the investment returns and outcome.
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