The Group: On the Behavioral Insights Team, we conduct original research about financial behavior to help people save and invest their money more effectively. We study what works, and what doesn’t, and publicize the results broadly.
The Role: Understand the behavior challenges of retirement – especially decumulation – and develop behavioral interventions to help retirees live with comfort and dignity.
Morningstar is looking for an applied behavioral scientist, to help retirees and those nearing retirement live well. Much of the research in the field has focused on accumulation (encouraging saving); this role will look at the challenges people face before and during retirement, beyond simply saving. For example, a significant portion of retirees don’t spend down their assets: likely because of fear of unpredictable expenses and life-long habits of saving.
In this role, you’ll conduct original research on retirement behavior: both to understand potential challenges, field test potential solutions, and share your results via publications and software solutions. You’ll work alongside like-minded behavioralists and with leading academics from around the country. This position is based in our Chicago office.
• Lead our retirement-focused research initiatives: developing our strategy to use behavioral finance, and financial decision-making research more broadly, to help retirees and those nearing retirement with their finances.
• Conduct original research on retirement behavior: on issues of decumulation, bequests, risk tolerance, the role of potential cognitive impairments, and more.
• Design, execute, and analyze large-scale randomized control trials to test your ideas (Morningstar interacts with millions of individuals and their advisors).
• Work with the marketing, product, and research teams to identify and solve pressing questions around retirement behavior, and then put those answers into practice in our products.
• Coordinate with our Behavioral Science Advisory Board – amazing and thoughtful researchers from around the country – to develop new interventions, and measure their real-life impact.
• Publicize your results – in the media, papers, and at conferences.
• A PhD (or a Masters with appropriate professional experience) in the behavioral sciences, especially behavioral economics or finance.
• CFA, CFP, or similar designations are a plus.
• Professional experience applying behavioral interventions to retirement issues is ideal.
• Demonstrated ability writing about behavioral research for a general audience.
• Experience and enjoyment in public speaking.
• At least two years of experience using Python, R, STATA, SQL or Matlab to analyze complex datasets (academics: yes, GRAs count).
• Independent, creative thinker with a strong interest in investing.
Morningstar is an equal opportunity employer.