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"Exploited by Complexity" by Dr. Peter Kelly

Event information
Finance
Seminar
Wednesday, 22 April 2020
online seminar
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Speaker:

Dr. Peter Kelly   
Assistant Professor of Finance
University of Notre Dame

 

 

 

Abstract:

Due to their complex features, structured financial products harm the average investor. But, can some investors benefit from this complexity? Using account-level transaction data of retail structured funds, we show that the rich (sophisticated) benefit from complexity at the expense of the poor (naive). The poor-to-rich wealth transfer that results from trading structured funds is substantially greater than the wealth transfer from trading simple, non-structured funds. In an event study, we further confirm that the wealth transfer can be partially attributed to investors’ differing responses to complexity. In particular, when a market crash triggers funds into a restructuring process and their prices are expected to shrink by half on a given day, the poor and naive subset of investors fail to respond effectively.