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Preferred Risk Habitat of Individual Investors

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  • Dorn, Daniel
  • Huberman, Gur

Abstract

The preferred risk habitat hypothesis, introduced here, is that individual investors select stocks with volatilities commensurate with their risk aversion; more risk-averse individuals pick lower-volatility stocks. The investors' portfolio perspective overlooks return correlations. The data, 1995-2000 holdings of over 20,000 customers of a German broker, are consistent with the predictions of the hypothesis: the portfolios contain highly similar stocks in terms of volatility, when stocks are sold they are replaced by stocks of similar volatilities, and the more risk averse customers indeed hold less volatile stocks. Cross-sectionally, the more risk averse investors also have a stronger tendency to invest in mutual funds. Major improvements in diversification are concentrated during periods when investors add money to their account.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorn, Daniel & Huberman, Gur, 2007. "Preferred Risk Habitat of Individual Investors," CEPR Discussion Papers 6532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6532
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    1. repec:eee:soceco:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:99-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jiang, Danling & Peterson, David R. & Doran, James S., 2014. "Short-sale constraints and the idiosyncratic volatility puzzle: An event study approach," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 36-59.
    3. Söhnke M. Bartram & John M. Griffin & Tae-Hoon Lim & David T. Ng, 2015. "How Important Are Foreign Ownership Linkages for International Stock Returns?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 28(11), pages 3036-3072.
    4. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:31:p:3067-3085 is not listed on IDEAS
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    6. Miguel Fuentes & Pablo Pincheira & Juan Manuel Julio & Hernán Rincón & Santiago García-Verdú & Miguel Zerecero & Marco Vega & Erick Lahura & Ramon Moreno, 2014. "The effects of intraday foreign exchange market operations in Latin America: results for Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru," BIS Working Papers 462, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. ap Gwilym, O. & Kita, A. & Wang, Q., 2014. "Speculate against speculative demand," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 212-221.
    8. León, Anja Köbrich & Pfeifer, Christian, 2017. "Religious activity, risk-taking preferences and financial behaviour: Empirical evidence from German survey data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 99-107.
    9. Christian Ehm & Christine Kaufmann & Martin Weber, 2014. "Volatility Inadaptability: Investors Care About Risk, but Cannot Cope with Volatility," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(4), pages 1387-1423.
    10. repec:kap:expeco:v:21:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-017-9537-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Merkle, Christoph & Weber, Martin, 2014. "Do investors put their money where their mouth is? Stock market expectations and investing behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 372-386.
    12. Ann Yang, 2013. "Decision Making for Individual Investors: A Measurement of Latent Difficulties," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 303-329, December.
    13. Cronqvist, Henrik & Siegel, Stephan & Yu, Frank, 2015. "Value versus growth investing: Why do different investors have different styles?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 333-349.
    14. repec:eee:jbfina:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:68-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Hsu, Yuan-Lin & Chow, Edward H., 2013. "The house money effect on investment risk taking: Evidence from Taiwan," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1102-1115.
    16. Eun, Cheol S. & Wang, Lingling & Xiao, Steven C., 2015. "Culture and R2," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 283-303.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    preferred risk habitat; risk; risk aversion; stock portfolio; volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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