We match administrative panel data on portfolio choices with survey measures of financial literacy. When we control for portfolio risk, the most literate households experience 0.4% higher annual returns than the least literate households. Distinct portfolio dynamics are the key determinant of this difference. More literate households hold riskier positions when expected returns are higher. They more actively rebalance their portfolios and do so in a way that holds their risk exposure relatively constant over time. They are more likely to buy assets that provide higher returns than the assets that they sell.
The Journal of Finance, vol. 73, n. 2, 2018, pp. 831–859