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The Role of Experience Sampling and Graphical Displays on One's Investment Risk Appetite

Author

Listed:
  • Christine Kaufmann

    () (Lehrstuhl für Bankbetriebslehre, Universität Mannheim, 68131 Mannheim, Germany)

  • Martin Weber

    () (Lehrstuhl für Bankbetriebslehre, Universität Mannheim, 68131 Germany; and Centre for Economic Policy Research, London EC1V 3PZ, United Kingdom)

  • Emily Haisley

    () (Barclays PLC, London E14 5HP, United Kingdom)

Abstract

Financial professionals have a great deal of discretion concerning how to relay information about the risk of financial products to their clients. This paper introduces a new risk tool to communicate the risk of investment products, and it examines how different risk-presentation modes influence risk-taking behavior and investors' recall ability of the risk-return profile of financial products. We analyze four different ways of communicating risk: (i) numerical descriptions, (ii) experience sampling, (iii) graphical displays, and (iv) a combination of these formats in the "risk tool." Participants receive information about a risky and a risk-free fund and make an allocation between the two in an experimental investment portfolio. We find that risky allocations are elevated in both the risk tool and experience sampling conditions. Greater risky allocations in the risk tool condition are associated with decreased risk perception, increased confidence in the risky fund, and a lower estimation of the probability of a loss. In addition to these favorable perceptions of the risky fund, participants in the risk tool condition are more accurate on recall questions regarding the expected return and the probability of a loss. We find no evidence of greater dissatisfaction with returns in these conditions, and we observe a willingness to take on similar levels of risk in subsequent allocations. This paper was accepted by Teck Ho, behavioral economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Kaufmann & Martin Weber & Emily Haisley, 2013. "The Role of Experience Sampling and Graphical Displays on One's Investment Risk Appetite," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(2), pages 323-340, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:59:y:2013:i:2:p:323-340
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1120.1607
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1120.1607
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    References listed on IDEAS

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