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"This issue of The Journal of Personal Finance captures the spirit of our mission. Our beloved Journal provides scholarly articles that examine the impact of financial issues on households as well as the practice of financial planning. Our current issue contains articles from respected researchers in our field and I am proud to share their contributions with you. Thank you to our Editorial Board for their tireless work reviewing, editing and communicating with this edition’s authors."

Editor Craig Lemoine, Ph.D., MRFC®, CFP®

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Volume 22 Issue 1,  2023

Personal Finance Scales: A Literature Review

Beatrix Lavigueur, MS
Jing Jian Xiao, Ph.D.
The purpose of this literature review is to document personal finance scales published in research journals, describe features of each scale, and provide implications for both researchers and practitioners. Through a literature search, 30 scales published in 26 different papers were collected and analyzed based on key factors such as their target population, purpose, number of factors, number of items, reliability and validity. Scales were then divided into five categories: financial well-being, financial self-efficacy, financial behavior, financial management and decision styles, and financial attitudes. Implications for researchers and practitioners are provided

The Role of Financial Advisors in Shaping Investment Beliefs

Blain Pearson, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®
Thomas Korankye, Ph.D., CFP®
Di Qing, Ph.D.5
The objective of this study is to examine the association between financial advisor usage and the association with client investment beliefs. An illustrative model is first introduced, establishing a framework for how financial advisors may influence the investment beliefs of their clients. The authors test the association between financial advisor use and investment belief with data collected from the 2016 RAND American Life Panel (N = 1,045). The average age of the sample was 56. The findings suggest an association between the influence of financial advisors and their clients’ investment beliefs. The ensuing discussion highlights the need for financial advisors to be aware of their own investment beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors when working with clients. The conclusions orbit around the need for client communication education to be reinforced as a part of the broader financial planning curricula.

Investment Advisor Use and Stock Market Return Expectations

Miranda Reiger, Ph.D., CFP®
Martin C. Seay, Ph.D., CFP®
This study explored the association between receiving investment advice from a financial professional and investors’ sentiment about expected stock market outlook. Using data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study, respondents were identified as either being pessimistic, realistic-cautious, realistic-optimistic, or highly optimistic about future stock market performance. Data were provided relative to an investors’ use of financial professionals: being self-directed, using some investment advisor help, or relying upon an investment advisor’s help. Results show that investors using full or some investment advisor help were more likely to expect future stock market returns to align with historical averages. The key implication is that working with an investment advisor is associated with clients having a more realistic view of future stock market returns.

The Exploration of Contributing Factors Related to Retirement Plan Participation 

Marc B. Lewis, D.B.A.
Joseph T. Patton, D.B.A.
Approximately 30% of consumers are not participating in their employer-sponsored retirement plans (Topoleski & Myers, 2021). This study examines minorities, non-minorities, and other contributing factors such as age, education, household income, gender, and education as they related to a consumer’s likelihood of participating in their employer’s sponsored retirement plan. A secondary data analysis was conducted using the 2019 National Financial Capability Study. With over 25,000 respondents, the results of the analysis reveal that age, education, and household income are strong contributors in determining the likelihood of an individual participating in an employer-sponsored plan. However, the data reveal that an individual’s age and minority group are less correlated with the likelihood of plan participation. These results provide insight for plan participants, practitioners, and plan sponsors on educating their participants on the various contributors that effect their participation.

Bequest Expectations and Annuity Ownership

Ying Yan
Russell N. James III
This paper uses data from the 9 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to examine how bequest expectations impact decisions about annuitization. The estimations of a random-effects model show that people who have a higher expectation of leaving a bequest are more likely to have an annuity, even controlling for housing wealth, non-housing wealth, health, and other demographic characteristics. Previous studies have shown a negative association between bequest motivation and annuitization. The differing relationship of annuitization with bequest motives and bequest expectations reveals a practically and theoretically important distinction between these two types of bequest measurements. The implications of other research findings that use bequest expectations as a proxy for bequest motive may need to be reconsidered.


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