Why should older people invest less in stock than younger people?
AbstractFinancial planners typically advise people to shift investments away from stocks and toward bonds as they age. The planners commonly justify this advice in three ways. They argue that stocks are less risky over a young person’s long investment horizon, that stocks are often necessary for young people to meet large financial obligations (like college tuition for their children), and that younger people have more years of labor income ahead with which to recover from the potential losses associated with stock ownership. This article uses economic reasoning to evaluate these three different justifications. It finds that the first two arguments do not make economic sense. The last argument is valid—but only for people with labor income that is relatively uncorrelated with stock returns. If a person’s labor income is highly correlated with stock returns, then that investor is better off shifting investments toward stocks over time.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its journal Quarterly Review.
Volume (Year): (1996)
Issue (Month): Sum ()
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jagannathan, Ravi & Wang, Zhenyu, 1996.
" The Conditional CAPM and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 3-53, March.
- Ravi Jagannathan & Zhenyu Wang, 1996. "The conditional CAPM and the cross-section of expected returns," Staff Report 208, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- R. C. Merton, 1970.
"Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model,"
58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
- Hodrick, Robert J, 1992.
"Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-86.
- Tom Doan, . "OLSHODRICK: RATS procedure to compute Hodrick standard errors," Statistical Software Components RTS00147, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 1997. "Market Frictions, Savings Behavior, And Portfolio Choice," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 76-101, January.
- Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996.
"The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
- Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1995. "The equity premium: it's still a puzzle," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Kocherlakota, N., 1995. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Working Papers 95-05, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
- Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
- Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992.
"Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
- Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1994. "On the quantitative importance of market completeness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 463-496, December.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Diane Rosenberger).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.