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Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Personal Illiquid Projects

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  • Miquel Faig
  • Pauline Shum

Abstract

Personal projects, such as a private business or the purchase of a home, influence portfolio choice in two ways. First, financial assets can be used to provide diversification against bad outcomes of personal projects. Second, financial assets can be used to provide liquidity to personal projects when these projects are illiquid and individuals have a limited debt capacity. The latter interaction is the focus of our paper. Due to this liquidity consideration, individuals are more risk averse if there is a large penalty for discontinuing or under-investing in the final stages of a project. A large penalty arises when there is strong complementarity between investments at dierent stages, or in projects that require lumpy investments. We provide a theoretical analysis and an empirical investigation of these eects. Using data from the 1995 Survey of Consumer Finances, we show that, consistent with our hypotheses, households which are saving to invest in their own businesses or in their own homes have significantly safer financial portfolios. The impact of the first category is particularly strong. Our findings also help explain why households, in particular younger ones, have larger than expected holdings of safe financial assets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number faig-00-03.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 11 May 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:faig-00-03

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Keywords: Illiquid projects; portfolio choice;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Klos & Martin Weber, 2006. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Non-Tradable Income: An Experimental Analysis," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 427-448, November.
  2. El-Attar, Mayssun & Poschke, Markus, 2010. "Trust and the Choice Between Housing and Financial Assets: Evidence from Spanish Households," IZA Discussion Papers 5246, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bracke, Philippe & Hilber, Christian & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Homeownership and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Commitment and Mortgage Debt," IZA Discussion Papers 7417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Raffaele Miniaci & Sergio Pastorello, 2010. "Mean-variance econometric analysis of household portfolios," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 481-504.
  5. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2007. "Portfolio choice over the life-cycle when the stock and labor markets are cointegrated," Working Paper Series WP-07-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Zvi Bodie & J�r�me Detemple & Marcel Rindisbacher, 2009. "Life-Cycle Finance and the Design of Pension Plans," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 249-286, November.
  7. Hung, Mao-Wei & Liu, Yu-Jane & Tsai, Chia-Fen, 2012. "Managerial personal diversification and portfolio equity incentives," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 38-64.
  8. Wolfram Horneff & Raimond Maurer & Michael Stamos, 2006. "Life-Cycle Asset Allocation with Annuity Markets: Is Longevity Insurance a Good Deal?," Working Papers wp146, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. Luigi Guiso & Michael Haliassos & Tullio Jappelli, 2003. "Household stockholding in Europe: where do we stand and where do we go?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 123-170, 04.
  10. Eduardo Walker, 2006. "Optimal Portfolios In Defined Contribution Pension Systems," Abante, Escuela de Administracion. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 9(2), pages 99-129.
  11. Horneff, Wolfram J. & Maurer, Raimond H. & Stamos, Michael Z., 2008. "Life-cycle asset allocation with annuity markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3590-3612, November.
  12. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2005. "Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle in the Presence of 'Trickle Down' Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 11247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Otto van Hemert & Franck de Jong & Joost Driessen, 2005. "Dynamic portfolio and mortgage choice for homeowners," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24650, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. Shum, Pauline & Faig, Miquel, 2006. "What explains household stock holdings?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 2579-2597, September.
  15. Luca Benzoni & Olena Chyruk, 2009. "Investing over the life cycle with long-run labor income risk," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 29-43.
  16. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel, 2006. "Do Wealth Fluctuations Generate Time-varying Risk Aversion? Micro-Evidence on Individuals' Asset Allocation," NBER Working Papers 12809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Iwaisako, Tokuo, 2009. "Household portfolios in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 373-382, December.
  18. Berkowitz, Michael K. & Qiu, Jiaping, 2006. "A further look at household portfolio choice and health status," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1201-1217, April.
  19. Bhandari, Gokul & Deaves, Richard, 2008. "Misinformed and informed asset allocation decisions of self-directed retirement plan members," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 473-490, August.

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