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An Asset Allocation Puzzle

  • Canner, Niko
  • Mankiw, N Gregory
  • Weil, David N

This paper examines popular advice on portfolio allocation among cash, bonds, and stocks. It documents that this advice is inconsistent with the mutual-fund separation theorem, which states that all investors should hold the same composition of risky assets. In contrast to the theorem, popular advisors recommend that aggressive investors hold a lower ratio of bonds to stocks than conservative investors. The paper explores various possible explanations of this puzzle and finds them unsatisfactory. Copyright 1997 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 87 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 181-91

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:87:y:1997:i:1:p:181-91
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  1. Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
  2. Stanley Fischer, 1983. "Investing for the Short and the Long Term," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System, pages 153-176 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Shafir, Eldar & Diamond, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1997. "Money Illusion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 341-74, May.
  4. Campbell, John, 1987. "Stock Returns and the Term Structure," Scholarly Articles 3207699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Hentschel, Ludger & Campbell, John, 1992. "No News is Good News: An Asymmetric Model of Changing Volatility in Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3220232, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
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