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How Investors Face Financial Risk Loss Aversion and Wealth Allocation

  • Erick Rengifo

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

  • Emanuela Trifan

    (J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Department of Economics)

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    We study how the wealth-allocation decisions and the loss aversion of non-professional investors change subject to behavioral factors. The optimal wealth assignment between risky and risk-free assets results within a VaR portfolio model, where risk is individually assessed according to an extended prospect-theory framework. We show how the past performance and the portfolio evaluation frequency impact investor behavior. Myopic loss aversion holds at different evaluation frequencies. One year is the optimal frequency at which, under practical constraints, risky holdings are maximized. Previous research using standard VaR-significance levels may underestimate the loss aversion of individual investors.

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    File URL: http://legacy.fordham.edu/images/academics/graduate_schools/gsas/economics/dp2008_01_rengifo_trifan.pdf
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    Paper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2008-01.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2008-01
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fordham.edu/economics/
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    1. Suleyman Basak & Alex Shapiro, . "Value-at-Risk Based Risk Management: Optimal Policies and Asset Prices," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 06-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    2. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, . "Prospect Theory and Asset Prices," CRSP working papers 494, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    3. Gneezy, Uri & Potters, Jan, 1997. "An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-45, May.
    4. Benartzi, Shlomo & Thaler, Richard H, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92, February.
    5. Arjan B. Berkelaar & Roy Kouwenberg & Thierry Post, 2004. "Optimal Portfolio Choice under Loss Aversion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 973-987, November.
    6. Gneezy, U. & Kapteyn, A. & Potters, J.J.M., 2002. "Evaluation Periods and Asset Prices in a Market Experiment," Discussion Paper 2002-8, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Haigh, Michael S. & List, John A., 2002. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 28554, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    8. Campbell, Rachel & Huisman, Ronald & Koedijk, Kees, 2001. "Optimal portfolio selection in a Value-at-Risk framework," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1789-1804, September.
    9. Berkelaar, Arjan & Kouwenberg, Roy, 2009. "From boom 'til bust: How loss aversion affects asset prices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1005-1013, June.
    10. Philippe Artzner & Freddy Delbaen & Jean-Marc Eber & David Heath, 1999. "Coherent Measures of Risk," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 203-228.
    11. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
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