Robert Merton on Life-Cycle Investing and Retirement Funding (Webinar)
Increasingly, it is recognized that defined benefit plans are not sustainable, and traditional defined contribution schemes are not properly designed to meet core retirement goals of most individuals. Nobel Laureate Robert C. Merton conducted a live webinar for CFA Institute members and other industry professionals, in which he discussed his research work on applying financial engineering to the design and implementation of a rigorous “next-generation” solution to the global challenge of retirement finance. This is an archived version of the webinar presented on 10 January 2013.
Additional Background Materials
Merton has also contributed to the monograph, Life-Cycle Investing: Financial Education and Consumer Protection. His chapter on “Observations on Financial Education and Consumer Financial Protection” covers in greater detail the issues relating to client or member engagement discussed in the webinar.
An earlier Research Foundation monograph The Future of Life-Cycle Saving and Investing, provides additional resources on the topic. Merton’s chapter on “The Future of Retirement Planning” together with the two chapters below could help enhance the reader’s understanding of the next-generation solution:
- “Is Personal Finance a Science?” by Paul A. Samuelson
- “The Theory of Optimal Life-Cycle Saving and Investing” by Zvi Bodie, Jonathan Treussard, and Paul Willend
Merton’s interest in this topic dates back to earlier in his career. “Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case,” which was published in the Review of Economics and Statistics (August 1969), can be traced back to the second chapter of his PhD dissertation. The paper later became the fourth chapter in his seminal book, Continuous-Time Finance.
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