Congressional Briefing - February 9, 2009

Investor Choices and Financial Literacy: Evidence from Mutual Fund Choice Experiments

woman overwhelmed by finances


Joanne Yoong and Angela Hung


Monday, February 9, 2009


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


2220 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

About the Program

As people assume greater responsibility for their long-term financial security, individuals’ financial decisionmaking is becoming an emergent policy concern. The mortgage crisis and current market conditions show that poor financial decisionmaking by individuals can have a significant collective impact. As more Americans lose money in investments, particularly in their retirement accounts, Congress is looking for solutions to stabilize financial markets.

RAND is studying the relationship between financial literacy and investment decisions of individuals. RAND economists Joanne Yoong and Angela Hung will present findings from this ongoing research; they will address the following questions, among others:

  • What do people understand about their own 401(k) plan and mutual fund fees and expenses?
  • Even when fees and expenses are known, does the typical investor make the optimal choice?
  • What is the appropriate amount of information needed to make optimal choices?
  • What is needed to support better financial decisionmaking?

RAND Office of Congressional Relations

For more than 60 years, RAND has provided policymakers with independent, objective research and analysis on key national security, domestic and international issues. RAND work helps members of Congress and their staffs make better-informed decisions on the nation's pressing challenges. The Office of Congressional Relations offers a number of products and services to educate, inform, and facilitate congressional policymakers' access to RAND work, including coordinating congressional testimony by RAND experts, organizing briefings and meetings, synthesizing RAND work into topical e-newsletters and providing reports and publications to congressional offices. For more information, visit the Office of Congressional Relations webpage, contact or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.

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Further Inquiries

For further information about this event, contact the Office of Congressional Relations at or call (703) 413-1100 x5395.