IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/may/mayecw/n1550305.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When does ‘All Eggs in One Risky Basket’ Make Sense?

Author

Listed:
  • G. Boyle

    (Department of Economics, NUI, Maynooth)

  • D. Conniffe

    (Department of Economics, NUI, Maynooth)

Abstract

In an important paper comparing expected utility and mean-variance analysis, Feldstein (1969) examined a simple portfolio problem involving just two assets, one riskless and one risky. He concluded there could easily be ‘plunging’, that is, investment in the risky asset alone. His background assumptions were that the risky asset’s yield was log normally distributed and that the investor’s attitude to risk was expressible by a logarithmic utility. We look at how conclusions are affected by choice of distribution and utility function. While conclusions can depend on choice of distribution, they are remarkably robust to choice within the range of plausible positive distributions. In contrast, conclusions are sensitive to choice of utility function and we find the key determinant to be how much the investor’s relative risk aversion differs from unity and in what direction. Based on historical stock market returns, our analysis implies that the prevalence of diversification that is observed is consistent with a relative risk aversion coefficient of about 2.5.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Boyle & D. Conniffe, 2005. "When does ‘All Eggs in One Risky Basket’ Make Sense?," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1550305, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  • Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n1550305
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.maynoothuniversity.ie/mayecw-files/N1550305.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. J. Tobin, 1958. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 65-86.
    2. Bierwag, G O, 1974. "The Rationale of the Mean-Standard Deviation Analysis: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 431-433, June.
    3. James Tobin, 1969. "Comment on Borch and Feldstein," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 13-14.
    4. Joram Mayshar, 1978. "A Note on Feldstein's Criticism of Mean-Variance Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 197-199.
    5. Tsiang, S C, 1972. "The Rationale of the Mean-Standard Deviation Analysis, Skewness Preference, and the Demand for Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 354-371, June.
    6. Martin S. Feldstein, 1978. "A Note on Feldstein's Criticism of Mean-Variance Analysis: A Reply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 201-201.
    7. Ormiston, Michael B & Schlee, Edward E, 2001. "Mean-Variance Preferences and Investor Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 849-861, October.
    8. Meyer, Jack, 1987. "Two-moment Decision Models and Expected Utility Maximization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 421-430, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Trino-Manuel Niguez & Ivan Paya & David Peel & Javier Perote, 2013. "Higher-order moments in the theory of diversification and portfolio composition," Working Papers 18297128, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:may:mayecw:n1550305. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/demayie.html .

    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.