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Exploited by complexity

Gao, Pengjie, Hu, Allen, Kelly, Peter, Peng, Cameron and Zhu, Ning (2020) Exploited by complexity. Financial Markets Group Discussion Papers (816). Financial Markets Group, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Due to their complex features, structured financial products can hurt the average investor. Are certain investors particularly vulnerable? 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 from trading simple, nonstructured funds. In an event study, we further confirm that part of this wealth transfer can be directly 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 fails to respond effectively.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Finance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
JEL classification: G - Financial Economics > G1 - General Financial Markets > G10 - General
Date Deposited: 18 May 2023 15:18
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2023 00:00

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