Three essays on financial technology and personal financial planning
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Over the last few decades, financial technology innovation has changed household finance management substantially. Because of complex financial products and services, it is difficult for households making sound financial decisions. There is a trend of households adopting technologies to help them make better financial decisions so they can achieve higher levels of lifetime utility. However, little is known about what type of financial technology can improve household financial behavior, what factors drive consumers to adopt financial technology, and what the impacts will be by using them. In the first essay, we find that transaction purposed financial technologies are less likely to engage in more positive financial behaviors, while households who use planning purposed financial technologies are more likely to engage in more positive financial behaviors. In the second essay, we find that financial software is used primarily by groups who have greater endowed and attained human capital, and may be a complement to (rather than a substitute for) financial literacy. In the third essay, we find that variations exist on retirement advice provided by retirement planning software. The results are confusing to individuals to use because insufficient material is offered to explain the methodology and assumptions used in the software.
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