IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Financial Literacy and Portfolio Diversification

In this paper we focus on poor financial literacy as one potential factor explaining lack of portfolio diversification. We use the 2007 Unicredit Customers’ Survey, which has indicators of portfolio choice, financial literacy and many demographic characteristics of investors. We first propose test-based indicators of financial literacy and document the extent of portfolio under-diversification. We find that measures of financial literacy are strongly correlated with the degree of portfolio diversification. We also compare the test-based degree of financial literacy with investors’ self-assessment of their financial knowledge, and find only a weak relation between the two measures, an issue that has gained importance after the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) has required financial institutions to rate investors’ financial sophistication through questionnaires.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 212.

in new window

Date of creation: 07 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:212
Contact details of provider: Postal: I-80126 Napoli
Phone: +39 081 - 675372
Fax: +39 081 - 675372
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2006. "Baby Boomer Retirement Security: The Roles of Planning, Financial Literacy, and Housing Wealth," Working Papers wp114, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Kelly, Morgan, 1995. "All their eggs in one basket: Portfolio diversification of US households," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-96, June.
  3. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Cognitive Abilities and Portfolio Choice," CEPR Discussion Papers 5735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kroll, Yoram & Levy, Haim & Rapoport, Amnon, 1988. "Experimental Tests of the Separation Theorem and the Capital Asset Pricing Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 500-519, June.
  5. William M. Gentry & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2000. "Entrepreneurship and Household Saving," NBER Working Papers 7894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Blume, Marshall E & Friend, Irwin, 1975. "The Asset Structure of Individual Portfolios and Some Implications for Utility Functions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 585-603, May.
  7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  8. Bruno Maria Parigi & Loriana Pelizzon, 2005. "Diversification and Ownership Concentration," CESifo Working Paper Series 1590, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Maarten vanRooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation," Working Papers wp162, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  10. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 779-805.
  12. Perraudin, William R. M. & Sorensen, Bent E., 2000. "The demand for risky assets: Sample selection and household portfolios," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 117-144, July.
  13. Daniel Dorn & Gur Huberman, 2005. "Talk and Action: What Individual Investors Say and What They Do," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 437-481, December.
  14. Huberman, Gur, 2001. "Familiarity Breeds Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 659-80.
  15. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, 04.
  16. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
  17. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2011. "Financial Literacy and Planning: Implications for Retirement Wellbeing," NBER Working Papers 17078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Doriana Ruffino, 2007. "Resuscitating The Businessman Risk: A Rationale For Familiarity-Based Portfolios," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-037, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  19. John Y. Campbell, 2006. "Household Finance," NBER Working Papers 12149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
  21. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang, 2008. "Stocks as Lotteries: The Implications of Probability Weighting for Security Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2066-2100, December.
  22. Daniel Kahneman & Dan Lovallo, 1993. "Timid Choices and Bold Forecasts: A Cognitive Perspective on Risk Taking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(1), pages 17-31, January.
  23. Thaler, Richard H, et al, 1997. "The Effect of Myopia and Loss Aversion on Risk Taking: An Experimental Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 647-61, May.
  24. repec:use:tkiwps:2323 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Richard H. Thaler, 2006. "Individual Preferences, Monetary Gambles, and Stock Market Participation: A Case for Narrow Framing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1069-1090, September.
  26. Joseph Golec & Maurry Tamarkin, 1998. "Bettors Love Skewness, Not Risk, at the Horse Track," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 205-225, February.
  27. Shlomo Benartzi, 2001. "Excessive Extrapolation and the Allocation of 401(k) Accounts to Company Stock," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1747-1764, October.
  28. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:212. 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: (Lia Ambrosio)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.