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BeFi Barometer 2021

Behavioral finance helped advisors cement relationships and keep clients on track amidst continued pandemic uncertainty.

Examining the landscape

For the third year, we partnered with Cerulli Associates, Inc., and the Investments & Wealth Institute to survey financial advisors on their use of behavioral finance. Fielded in May and June, 2021, the survey gave us a unique look at the effects of behavioral finance in an unprecedented time of social and economic uncertainty.

Top survey trends

Behavioral finance continues to make a positive difference for advisors and their clients according to those who participated in the third edition of the BeFi Barometer survey. Never has there been a more critical time for advisors to incorporate behavioral finance to align clients’ emotions to help achieve their long-term goals. Our downloadable infographic gathers key survey findings, including these top-level trends.

Reported surge in investor biases

Advisors reported a dramatic increase in client behavioral biases over previous surveys, with recency and confirmation biases being the most common.

Implementation strong among users

Client communications and portfolio construction continue to provide important avenues for advisors to implement behavioral finance techniques.

Influence of social media growing

Advisors said it was common for clients to mention investments they'd seen on social media—but rare for those investments to to fit well in their portfolios.

Get more survey insights

See all the survey highlights in a focused infographic. Or take a deep dive into more survey results in a whitepaper from Cerulli.

Explore resources

Schwab Asset Management is committed to providing insights and resources to help you use behavioral finance to enhance your client experience, deepen your client relationships, and potentially improve client outcomes. Explore resources like these.


Learn about bias mitigation techniques and the impact of investor behavior on the markets.


Implement behavioral finance In your practice with the Biagnostics® toolkit.

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Learn how international trading works and how it can affect the market price of ETFs that hold non-U.S. securities.