The effect of setting goals and emotions on asset allocation decisions
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to conduct a controlled experiment to examine the effect of goal setting and affect framed feedback on repeated asset allocation investment decisions. Design/methodology/approach – The design of the experiment is a 2×2 between subject design. Subjects allocated monies among four investments for 20 periods. One manipulation varied whether subjects received performance feedback in the form of a happy or sad face, while another manipulation varied whether subjects set a financial goal for themselves and received goal attainment performance feedback. Findings – The main findings include: subjects initially allocate assets in a manner roughly consistent with their stated preference for risk; prior year asset performance leads subjects to make significant changes in portfolio asset allocation in a manner consistent with beliefs of positive autocorrelation in asset returns; and the addition of happy or sad faces to performance feedback information leads to even greater changes in asset allocation. Originality/value – Using ideas from the theory on the self-regulation of behavior and the role of affect in decision making, the authors develop an original framework to account for the results.
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Volume (Year): 38 (2012)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
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