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Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification

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  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh
  • Laura Veldkamp

Abstract

If an investor wants to form a portfolio of risky assets and can exert effort to collect information on the future value of these assets before he invests, which assets should he learn about? The best assets to acquire information about are ones the investor expects to hold. But the assets the investor holds depend on the information he observes. We build a framework to solve jointly for investment and information choices, with a variety of preferences and information cost functions. Although the optimal research strategies depend on preferences and costs, the main result is that the investor who can first collect information systematically deviates from holding a diversified portfolio. Information acquisition can rationalize investing in a diversified fund and a concentrated set of assets, an allocation often observed, but usually deemed anomalous.

Suggested Citation

  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification," NBER Working Papers 13904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13904
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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