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About the Center

Helping People Make Better Financial Decisions

Drawing on the combined insights of finance and behavioral science, behavioral finance seeks to better understand how people make financial decisions, and why they make mistakes with their money, in order to help them make better choices.

The Allianz Global Investors Center for Behavioral Finance was founded in 2010 with the goal of turning academic insights into actionable ideas and practical tools that financial advisors and plan sponsors can use to help their clients and employees make better financial decisions.

Making A Difference in the Real World

Behavioral finance is already helping people save for retirement. One case in point: Save More TomorrowTM (SMarT), a program that allows employees to commit to increasing their savings automatically each time they get a pay raise. In the first program studied, savings rates increased from 3.5% to 13.6% over three and a half years.1 The SMarT program is now offered by more than half of the large employers in the U.S., and a variant was incorporated into the Pension Protection Act of 2006.2

 "The behavioral finance toolbox has been an extremely effective mechanism for understanding how people make financial decisions" says Sholmo Benartzi, one of the architects of Save More Tomorrow™. "Applying the insights from behavioral finance is critical to designing better solutions for investors."

A Tradition of Thought Leadership

The Center for Behavioral Finance carries on the Allianz Global Investors commitment to innovative thinking. The firm has long offered individuals and financial professionals unique insights into the economy and financial markets. Helping them better understand and address the human element supplies the missing piece. Read the 2010 release of our first report entitled Behavioral Finance and the Post-Retirement Crisis.

(1) Thaler, R., and Benartzi, S. (2004). Save More Tomorrow: Using behavioral economics to increase employee savings, Journal of Political Economy, 11, S.164 - S.187.
(2) Hewitt Associates. (2010). Hot Topics in Retirement.

Allianz Global Investors is the asset management arm of Allianz SE. The Center is sponsored by Allianz Global Investors U.S. LLC​, a registered investment adviser, and Allianz Global Investors Distributors LLC, a mutual fund distributor.


Why Standard Risk Measurements Don't Add Up
For most people, bad surprises loom larger than good ones, but that fact is missing from risk measures like standard deviation. In a new paper, the Center for Behavioral Finance investigates how people perceive risk and what it means for investors.
Curing Investment Paralysis
To ease volatility-averse clients off the sidelines, advisors might consider an "Invest More Tomorrow" strategy.
Bound to Plan
A Ulysses strategy can help clients ride out market volatility by asking them to pre-commit to a rational investment plan.
Appealing to Retirement Investors
"Framing" retirement solutions in terms of income, rather than investment returns, can have a remarkable impact on their attractiveness to investors.
Save More Tomorrow
A proven program using behavioral finance to help people save more for retirement by getting them to pre-commit to it today.