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Preferred Risk Habitat of Individual Investors

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  • Dorn, Daniel
  • Huberman, Gur

Abstract

The preferred risk habitat hypothesis, introduced here, is that individual investors select stocks with volatilities commensurate with their risk aversion; more risk-averse individuals pick lower-volatility stocks. The investors' portfolio perspective overlooks return correlations. The data, 1995-2000 holdings of over 20,000 customers of a German broker, are consistent with the predictions of the hypothesis: the portfolios contain highly similar stocks in terms of volatility, when stocks are sold they are replaced by stocks of similar volatilities, and the more risk averse customers indeed hold less volatile stocks. Cross-sectionally, the more risk averse investors also have a stronger tendency to invest in mutual funds. Major improvements in diversification are concentrated during periods when investors add money to their account.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6532.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6532

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Keywords: preferred risk habitat; risk; risk aversion; stock portfolio; volatility;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Anja Koebrich Leon & Christian Pfeifer, 2013. "Religious Activity, Risk Taking Preferences, and Financial Behaviour: Empirical Evidence from German Survey Data," Working Paper Series in Economics 269, University of L√ľneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Bartram, Sohnke M. & Griffin, John & Ng, David, 2010. "How Important Are Foreign Ownership Linkages for International Stock Returns?," Working Papers 10-21, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  3. Hsu, Yuan-Lin & Chow, Edward H., 2013. "The house money effect on investment risk taking: Evidence from Taiwan," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1102-1115.

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