IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Talk and Action: What Individual Investors Say and What They Do


  • Daniel Dorn
  • Gur Huberman


Combining survey responses and trading records of clients of a German retail broker, this paper examines some of the causes for the apparent failure to buy and hold a well-diversified portfolio. The subjective investor attributes gleaned from the survey help explain the variation in actual portfolio and trading choices. Self-reported risk aversion is the single most important determinant of both portfolio diversification and turnover; other things equal, investors who report being more risk tolerant hold less diversified portfolios and trade more aggressively. Less experienced investors similarly tend to churn poorly diversified portfolios. The effect of perceived knowledge on portfolio choice is less clear cut; holding other attributes constant, investors who think themselves knowledgeable about financial securities indeed hold better diversified portfolios, but those who think themselves more knowledgeable than the average investor churn their portfolios more. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Dorn & Gur Huberman, 2005. "Talk and Action: What Individual Investors Say and What They Do," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 437-481, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:eurfin:v:9:y:2005:i:4:p:437-481 DOI: 10.1007/s10679-005-4997-z

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Eymann, Angelika, 2000. "Household portfolios in Germany," Papers 00-15, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    2. Bruno Biais & Denis Hilton & Karine Mazurier & Sébastien Pouget, 2005. "Judgemental Overconfidence, Self-Monitoring, and Trading Performance in an Experimental Financial Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 287-312.
    3. Kapteyn, A. & Teppa, F., 2002. "Subjective Measures of Risk Aversion and Portfolio Choice," Discussion Paper 2002-11, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:eurfin:v:9:y:2005:i:4:p:437-481. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.