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How Investors Face Financial Risk Loss Aversion and Wealth Allocation

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  • Erick Rengifo

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

  • Emanuela Trifan

    (J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Department of Economics)

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    Abstract

    We study how the wealth-allocation decisions and the loss aversion of non-professional investors change subject to behavioral factors. The optimal wealth assignment between risky and risk-free assets results within a VaR portfolio model, where risk is individually assessed according to an extended prospect-theory framework. We show how the past performance and the portfolio evaluation frequency impact investor behavior. Myopic loss aversion holds at different evaluation frequencies. One year is the optimal frequency at which, under practical constraints, risky holdings are maximized. Previous research using standard VaR-significance levels may underestimate the loss aversion of individual investors.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2008-01.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2008-01

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    Web page: http://www.fordham.edu/economics/
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    Keywords: Prospect theory; myopic loss aversion; Value-at-Risk; portfolio evaluation; capital allocation;

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    1. Uri Gneezy & Arie Kapteyn & Jan Potters, 2003. "Evaluation Periods and Asset Prices in a Market Experiment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 821-838, 04.
    2. Philippe Artzner & Freddy Delbaen & Jean-Marc Eber & David Heath, 1999. "Coherent Measures of Risk," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 203-228.
    3. Basak, Suleyman & Shapiro, Alexander, 2001. "Value-at-Risk-Based Risk Management: Optimal Policies and Asset Prices," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 371-405.
    4. Gneezy, U. & Potters, J.J.M., 1996. "An experiment on risk taking and evaluation periods," Discussion Paper 1996-61, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Michael Haigh & John List, 2005. "Do professional traders exhibit myopic loss aversion? An experimental analysis," Artefactual Field Experiments 00052, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Arjan B. Berkelaar & Roy Kouwenberg & Thierry Post, 2004. "Optimal Portfolio Choice under Loss Aversion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 973-987, November.
    8. Berkelaar, A.B. & Kouwenberg, R.R.P., 2000. "From boom til bust: how loss aversion affects asset prices," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2000-21/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    9. Campbell, Rachel & Huisman, Ronald & Koedijk, Kees, 2001. "Optimal portfolio selection in a Value-at-Risk framework," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1789-1804, September.
    10. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 2001. "Prospect Theory And Asset Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 1-53, February.
    11. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
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