The Group:  On the Behavioral Insights Team, we use behavioral science to help people improve their finances. We run digital experiments to determine what works and what doesn’t, and then publicize the results within the industry and among the general public. 

The Role:  Develop cutting-edge interventions and software to help people plan for their financial future. Morningstar is looking for an applied behavioral scientist, to help individual investors develop and pursue realistic financial plans, in partnership with their advisors. You’ll need to identify major obstacles that individuals face – then build on existing behavioral research to overcome those obstacles, and deploy the solutions in new and engaging user interfaces.

In this role, you’ll work hand in hand with the product development teams at Morningstar, our in-house behavioral science team, and leading academics from around the country. The position is based in our Chicago office. The position officially opens in Q3 of this year, but we are open to hiring a stellar candidate earlier. 

Responsibilities

  • Lead research efforts into financial planning, developing our strategy to apply behavioral lessons to these decisions.
  • Conduct original research, including on issues of retirement planning, investing, risk tolerance, and spending and savings behavior.
  • Work with the product, marketing and research teams to identify specific obstacles to good financial behavior that our software can address.
  • Design, execute, and analyze large-scale randomized control trials to test your ideas; Morningstar interacts with millions of individual investors and their advisors.
  • Coordinate with our Advisory Board – amazing and thoughtful researchers from around the country – to develop additional interventions, and measure their real-life impact.
  • Publicize your results – in the media, papers, and at conferences. 

Requirements

  • A PhD (or a Masters with appropriate professional experience) in the behavioral sciences, especially in behavioral economics, behavioral finance or JDM.
  • CFP or similar designations are a plus.
  • Professional experience in applying behavioral interventions to improving financial planning decisions (investment, retirement, or savings behavior), especially in the context of advisor-investor interactions is ideal.
  • Experience with the software development and design process 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 R, STATA, SQL or Matlab.
  • Independent, creative thinker with a strong interest in financial planning behavior.

Morningstar is an equal opportunity employer. In your cover letter, please mention two major behavioral challenges that limit good financial planning in an investor-advisor context, and how you’d help overcome them.

To learn more or apply for the position, please send your resume and cover letter to Steve at behavioralinsights@morningstar.com. Remember, the position officially opens in Q3 of this year, but the timing can be flexible.