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Investing over the life cycle with long-run labor income risk

  • Luca Benzoni
  • Olena Chyruk

Many financial advisors and much of the academic literature often argue that young people should place most of their savings in stocks. In contrast, a significant fraction of U.S. households do not hold stocks. Investors typically hold very little in stocks when they are young, progressively increase their holdings as they age, and decrease their exposure to stock market risk when they approach retirement. The authors show how long-run labor income risk helps explain this evidence. Moreover, they discuss the effect of long-run labor income risk on the valuation of pension plan obligations, their funding, and the allocation of pension assets across different investment classes.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Q III ()
Pages: 29-43

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2009:i:qiii:p:29-43:n:v.33no.3
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  1. Michael Haliassos & Alexandros Michaelides, 1999. "Portfolio Choice and Liquidity Constraints," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 9918, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  2. Luca Benzoni & Pierre Collin-Dufresne & Robert S. Goldstein, 2007. "Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle when the Stock and Labor Markets Are Cointegrated," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2123-2167, October.
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  16. Tano Santos & Pietro Veronesi, 2006. "Labor Income and Predictable Stock Returns," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 1-44.
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  19. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco & Francisco J. Gomes & Pascala J. Maenhout, 2000. "Investing Retirement Wealth? A Life-Cycle Model," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1896, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  20. Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2005. "The Returns on Human Capital: Good News on Wall Street is Bad News on Main Street," NBER Working Papers 11564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Ravi Jagannathan & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Why should older people invest less in stock than younger people?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 11-23.
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