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Portfolio Diversification During the Belle Époque: When the Actual Portfolios of French Individual Investors Met Behavioral Finance

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Listed:
  • Maxime MERLI

    (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg)

  • Antoine PARENT

    (OFCE, Université Paris 8, LED & CAC-IXXI, ENS Lyon)

Abstract

In this article we unearth the first real portfolios of French individual investors of the Belle Époque by reinvestigating the study of Des Essars and the comments of his contemporaries (Coste, Neymarck, and Leroy Beaulieu). The results are striking: we find strong elements of behavioral finance during the first era of financial globalization. Both the actual portfolios and the comments and advice of the financial analysts of the time reveal traces of behavioral finance and, more specifically, echo very clearly behavioral portfolio theory a century before its modeling. This discovery is important not only from the point of view of the historical depth of behavioral finance, but also for the persistence and legitimacy of the questions that behavioral finance has always addressed to standard finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Maxime MERLI & Antoine PARENT, 2022. "Portfolio Diversification During the Belle Époque: When the Actual Portfolios of French Individual Investors Met Behavioral Finance," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2022-01, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lar:wpaper:2022-01
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial History; Individual Investors; Behavioral Finance; Behavioral Portfolio Theory.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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