November 2, 2008
Barnard on Investor Education
Deception, Decisions, and Investor Education, by Jayne W. Barnard, College of William and Mary - Marshall-Wythe School of Law, was recently posted on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Tens of millions of dollars are spent each year to fund educational programs aimed at elderly investors. Many of these programs focus on fraud prevention. In this Article, Professor Barnard questions the effectiveness of these programs. Drawing on recent studies from marketing scholars, neurobiologists, social psychologists, and behavioral economists examining the ways in which older adults process information, she offers a model of decision making (the "deception/decision cycle") that explains why older adults are disproportionately vulnerable to investment fraud schemes. She then suggests that many of the factors that contribute to fraud victimization are unlikely to be influenced by investor education. She suggests some alternative uses for the money now spent on investor education that would better achieve the goal of fraud prevention.
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