Why Do Individual Investors Hold Under-Diversified Portfolios?
AbstractThis study examines the diversification decisions of more than 60,000 individual investors during a six year period (1991-96) in recent U.S. capital market history. The majority of investors in our sample are under-diversified and the extent of under-diversification is more severe in retirement accounts. Investors' personal characteristics, their stock preferences, and their behavioral biases jointly influence their diversification choices. Younger, lower-income (less wealthy), and relatively less sophisticated investors and those who follow price trends, prefer local (familiar) stocks, and exhibit over-confidence hold relatively less diversified portfolios. Under-diversified investors exhibit strong style and industry preferences and they also prefer more volatile and positively skewed stocks. Furthermore, we find some evidence to support the asymmetric information hypothesis for under diversification. In contrast, we find that factors such as small portfolio size, transaction costs, and search costs are unlikely determinants of investors' diversification choices. The unexpectedly high idiosyncratic risk in investors' portfolios results in a welfare loss.
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 InfoPaper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm454.
Date of creation: 14 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-04-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-FIN-2005-04-24 (Finance)
- NEP-RMG-2005-04-24 (Risk Management)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- H. Henry Cao & Bing Han & David Hirshleifer & Harold H. Zhang, 2011.
"Fear of the Unknown: Familiarity and Economic Decisions,"
Review of Finance,
European Finance Association, vol. 15(1), pages 173-206.
- Cao, Henry & Han, Bing & Hirshleifer, David & Zhang, Harold, 2007. "Fear of the Unknown: Familiarity and Economic Decisions," MPRA Paper 6512, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Chavas, Jean-Paul & Barham, Bradford, 2007. "On the Microeconomics of Diversification under Uncertainty and Learning," Staff Paper Series 515, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
- Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2007.
"Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 707-747, October.
- Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2006. "Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," NBER Working Papers 12030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Calvet, Laurent E. & Campbell, John Y. & Sodini, Paolo, 2006. "Down or Out: Assessing The Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Working Paper Series 195, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
- Sodini, Paolo & Campbell, John & Calvet, Laurent E., 2007. "Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Scholarly Articles 3122488, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Calvet, Laurent & Campbell, John Y. & Sodini, Paolo, 2006. "Down or out: assessing the welfare costs of household investment mistakes," Les Cahiers de Recherche 832, HEC Paris.
- Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2006. "Down or Out: Assessing the Welfare Costs of Household Investment Mistakes," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2107, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2007.
"Mental Accounting in Portfolio Choice: Evidence from a Flypaper Effect,"
NBER Working Papers
13656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2009. "Mental Accounting in Portfolio Choice: Evidence from a Flypaper Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2085-95, December.
- Laibson, David I. & Madrian, Brigitte & Choi, James J., 2009. "Mental Accounting in Portfolio Choice: Evidence from a Flypaper Effect," Scholarly Articles 4686774, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Kumar, Alok, 2007. "Do the diversification choices of individual investors influence stock returns?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 362-390, November.
- Ødegaard, Bernt Arne, 2009.
"The diversification cost of large, concentrated equity stakes. How big is it? Is it justified?,"
UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance
2009/22, University of Stavanger.
- Ødegaard, Bernt Arne, 2009. "The diversification cost of large, concentrated equity stakes. How big is it? Is it justified?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 56-72, June.
- Anderson, Anders, 2005. "Is Online Trading Gambling with Peanuts?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 06-02, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
- Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2007. "Stocks as Lotteries: The Implications of Probability Weighting for Security Prices," NBER Working Papers 12936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chang, Charles & Fuh, Cheng-Der & Hsu, Ya-Hui, 2008. "ESO compensation: The roles of default risk, employee sentiment, and insider information," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 630-641, December.
- Ajamu Loving & Michael Finke & John Salter, 2012. "Explaining the 2004 Decrease in Minority Stock Ownership," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 403-425, December.
- Chae, Joon & Yang, Cheol-Won, 2013. "Commonality in individuals' trading: A systematic path between behavioral bias and expected returns," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1008-1023.
- James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian, 2008. "The Flypaper Effect in Individual Investor Asset Allocation," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2560, Yale School of Management.
- Matus Medo & Chi Ho Yeung & Yi-Cheng Zhang, 2008. "How to quantify the influence of correlations on investment diversification," Papers 0805.3397, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2009.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.