Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 64

Strategies

Nudged to Save Better
Rise of DC-plan defaults has increased
participation, but savings rates need
a push.
68

Tax Wise
10 Technology Years in the Life
of a Financial Advisor
Quant U

70

A Primer on Factor Models and Portfolio
Optimization, Part III

74

Equities: President Can't Thwart
Green Progress
Alternatives: The Marketfield Saga

Investment Research

79

Best Ideas
82
84
86

Manager: Patience Rewarded
Passive: Dual Focus: Profits and Dividends
Equity: Blackstone Has the Power

RETIREMENT

David Blanchett

An important story of the past decade in the
defined-contribution space is the rise of the use of
defaults. In an effort to increase participation
in retirement plans and the amount participants
save, many plan sponsors and companies
are automatically enrolling employees into plans
instead of forcing them to opt in.
In theory, defaults should have little impact on
decisions, because the element of choice remains.
In reality, however, defaults have a significant
impact on individual decisions. But do
these individual decisions lead to better retirement
outcomes for participants? In this article, we'll
explore whether, and how, defaults are nudging
employees to a better or worse retirement.
The Rise of the Nudge
A nudge is a form of choice architecture designed
to improve decision-making. The term comes from
a 2008 book by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
titled Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health,
Wealth, and Happiness.

Neoclassical economic theory suggests that nudges
should have no impact on rational consumer
choices, especially if a decision is important
and transaction costs are small. In theory, people
would make the right choice regardless of the
default. In reality, defaults make a big difference.
A growing body of empirical evidence
shows that nudges can considerably affect
decisions, from the relatively insignificant, such

as email marketing, to those with much greater
societal importance, such as organ donation.
Nudges may affect decisions for a variety of
reasons. For example, individuals may perceive the
default decision as being endorsed by whoever
is making it. Defaults can also influence outcomes
because people often lack the necessary
skills to make optimal choices. People are also
prone to procrastinate.
Nudges in DC Plans
Defaults in defined-contribution retirement plans,
or DC plans, are especially good at overcoming bad
behavior, because plan participants often make
choices that are not in their best interest. The key,
we find, is making sure the default is set up
optimally. While default decisions generally have
resulted in better outcomes for DC participants,
that isn't always the case.

I'll explore outcomes for four key defaults in this
section: default investing, automatic enrollment,
automatic escalation, and default savings rates.
Default Investing
Before the introduction of default investing,
employees who enrolled in DC plans had to build
their own portfolios. This was not good from
an outcomes perspective. A large body of evidence
suggests that the average investor is not a very
good one. After the Pension Protection Act
of 2006, use of default investments-especially
target-date funds-has grown significantly.
Approximately 85% of participants in DC plans
accept the default investment if offered.1

1 Based on forthcoming research by the author. Statistics subject to change.

64

Morningstar June/July 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017

Contents
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover1
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover2
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 1
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 2
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Contents
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 4
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 5
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 6
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 7
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 8
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 9
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 10
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 11
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 12
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 13
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 14
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 15
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 16
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 17
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 18
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 19
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 20
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 21
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 22
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 23
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 24
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 25
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 26
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 27
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 28
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 29
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 30
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 31
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 32
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 33
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 34
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 35
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 36
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 37
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 38
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 39
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 40
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 41
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 42
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 43
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 44
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 45
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 46
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 47
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 48
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 49
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 50
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 51
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 52
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 53
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 54
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 55
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 56
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 57
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 58
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 59
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 60
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 61
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 62
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 63
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 64
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 65
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 66
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 67
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 68
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 69
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 70
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 71
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 72
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 73
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 74
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 75
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 76
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 77
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 78
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 79
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 80
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 81
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 82
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 83
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 84
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 85
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 86
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 87
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 88
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 89
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 90
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 91
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 92
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 93
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 94
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 95
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 96
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 97
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 98
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 99
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 100
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 101
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 102
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 103
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 104
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 105
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 106
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 107
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 108
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 109
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 110
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 111
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - 112
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover3
Morningstar Magazine - June/July 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20191201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20181011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20181201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20171011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20171201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20161011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20161201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20151011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20151201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20141011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20141201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20131011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20131201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20121011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/investorconference2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20121201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20111011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20111201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20101011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100809_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100607_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100405_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20101201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20091011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008catalog
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com