Technology makes it possible for management to personalize communication with individual investors on a broad scale. Building on information processing research, we predict and find that personalized communication prompts investors to process financial information more systematically and rely less on summary measures, such as earnings. Investors receiving more (as opposed to less) personalized communication respond less to management’s myopic decisions that boost short-term performance in their assessments of investment attractiveness, such that they assess a company that increases R&D (at the expense of net income) as more attractive and a company that decreases R&D as less attractive. Further analysis suggests this result is driven by investors with greater experience evaluating financial statements processing the longer-term implications of R&D expenditures for performance more fully when personalization is present. Our paper speaks to investor earnings fixation and myopic behavior from management and provides insights for implementing investor communication strategies.

JEL Classifications: O33; O31; L14; M41; D12; D83.

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