We examine a regulatory change in Canada that increased the oversight of financial advisors in five of its ten provinces. This increased oversight of mutual fund dealers reduced households’ use of financial advice and their mutual fund holdings. In lieu of mutual funds, households increased their cash holdings. The results are consistent with a decline in delegated investing caused by a negative shock to the supply of advice. The estimates suggest that having a financial advisor is important in facilitating stock market participation. Investments and advisory channels not affected by the regulation—direct equity and bond holdings, and advisors affiliated with banks—show no effects, reducing concerns about confounding economic and financial market changes.
Foerster, Stephen, Juhani T. Linnainmaa, Brian T. Melzer, and Alessandro Previtero. Investor Protections and Financial Market Participation: An Evaluation of Financial Advisor Oversight, November 2020.