Behavioral Scientist (Saving & Retirement) at Morningstar (Chicago, IL)
The Role: Understand the behavioral challenges of saving for retirement, then develop behavioral interventions to help workers save and to help retirees live with comfort and dignity.
Morningstar is looking for an applied behavioral scientist, to help people prepare for and live comfortably in retirement. The field has well promoted auto-enrollment and escalation to help people save; this role will look at the challenges people face before and during retirement, when workplace defaults aren't available. For example: In companies that don't offer a workplace plan, what viable techniques would support saving? Or: During retirement, why do a significant portion of retirees not spend down their assets?
In this role, you'll conduct original research on retirement saving and spending: to understand the 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 location agnostic within the U.S. although periodic travel to Chicago is required.
- Lead our retirement-focused research initiatives: identifying the best ways to use behavioral finance, and financial decision-making research more broadly, to help people save for and manage retirement.
- Conduct original research on retirement behavior, including on issues of non-workplace saving, decumulation, bequests, and risk tolerance.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- CFA, CFP, or similar designations are a plus.
- Independent, creative thinker with a strong interest in investing.
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