IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ver/wpaper/03-2015.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Investors' Personality Influence their Portfolios?

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandro Bucciol

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Luca Zarri

    () (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

Abstract

We present evidence that non-cognitive skills such as individual investors’ personality traits significantly impact their portfolio choices. Based on large-scale survey data from the 2006-2012 waves of the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) we show that portfolio decisions are influenced by a variety of traits and facets traditionally investigated in the field of personality psychology. Two personality traits that taken together depict a self-centered personality profile appear to have the most significant impact on financial risk taking: lower Agreeableness and higher Cynical Hostility predict higher willingness to take risks. A number of robustness checks corroborate our results. We also show that the effects of Agreeableness seem to pass through the preferences – rather than the beliefs – channel. Our findings shed new light on the non-cognitive side of individuals’ risk taking and have implications for our understanding of the sources of heterogeneity in financial decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2015. "Does Investors' Personality Influence their Portfolios?," Working Papers 03/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:03/2015
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dse.univr.it/home/workingpapers/wp2015n3.pdf
    File Function: First version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jan-Erik Lönnqvist & Markku Verkasalo & Gari Walkowitz & Philipp C. Wichardt, 2011. "Measuring Individual Risk Attitudes in the Lab: Task or Ask?: An Empirical Comparison," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 370, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. David Cesarini & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Örjan Sandewall & Björn Wallace, 2010. "Genetic Variation in Financial Decision-Making," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1725-1754, October.
    3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2012. "The stability of big-five personality traits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 11-15.
    4. Laurent E. Calvet & John Y. Campbell & Paolo Sodini, 2009. "Fight or Flight? Portfolio Rebalancing by Individual Investors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 301-348.
    5. Montizaan, Raymond M. & Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2014. "Misery Loves Company: Exogenous shocks in retirement expectations and social comparison effects on subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-26.
    6. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    7. Sumit Agarwal & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Cognitive Abilities and Household Financial Decision Making," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-207, January.
    8. Anke Becker & Thomas Deckers & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2012. "The Relationship Between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 453-478, July.
    9. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Jeremy C. Stein, 2004. "Social Interaction and Stock-Market Participation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 137-163, February.
    10. Cary Deck & Jungmin Lee & Javier Reyes, 2014. "Investing versus gambling: experimental evidence of multi-domain risk attitudes," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 19-23, January.
    11. Harrison, Neil & Agnew, Steve & Serido, Joyce, 2015. "Attitudes to debt among indebted undergraduates: A cross-national exploratory factor analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 62-73.
    12. Christelis, Dimitris & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2010. "Cognitive abilities and portfolio choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 18-38, January.
    13. Rosen, H.S.Harvey S. & Wu, Stephen, 2004. "Portfolio choice and health status," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 457-484, June.
    14. Cohn, Richard A, et al, 1975. "Individual Investor Risk Aversion and Investment Portfolio Composition," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 605-620, May.
    15. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
    16. Michael Haliassos and Alexander Michaelides, 2001. "Calibration and Computation of Household Portfolio Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 194, Society for Computational Economics.
    17. Levon Barseghyan & Jeffrey Prince & Joshua C. Teitelbaum, 2011. "Are Risk Preferences Stable across Contexts? Evidence from Insurance Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 591-631, April.
    18. David Cesarini & Christopher T. Dawes & Magnus Johannesson & Paul Lichtenstein & Björn Wallace, 2009. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk Taking," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 809-842.
    19. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2014. "Household finances and the ‘Big Five’ personality traits," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 197-212.
    20. Cary Deck & Jungmin Lee & Javier Reyes, 2008. "Risk attitudes in large stake gambles: evidence from a game show," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 41-52.
    21. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    22. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
    23. Gherzi, Svetlana & Egan, Daniel & Stewart, Neil & Haisley, Emily & Ayton, Peter, 2014. "The meerkat effect: Personality and market returns affect investors’ portfolio monitoring behaviour," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PB), pages 512-526.
    24. Graham Loomes & Ganna Pogrebna, 2014. "Measuring Individual Risk Attitudes when Preferences are Imprecise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(576), pages 569-593, May.
    25. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate & Jon Yan, 2011. "Overconfidence and Early‐Life Experiences: The Effect of Managerial Traits on Corporate Financial Policies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(5), pages 1687-1733, October.
    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. Jones, A.M.; & Rice, N.; & Robone, S.;, 2018. "The effect of health shocks on financial risk preferences differs by personality traits," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/07, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Alessandro Bucciol & Luca Zarri, 2016. "The Shadow of the Past: Does Personality Change After Lifetime Traumas?," Working Papers 15/2016, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    3. Luik, Marc-André & Steinhardt, Max Friedrich, 2016. "Immigrant-native differences in stockholding – The role of cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 103-119.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Portfolio Choice; Personality Traits; Risk Taking; Behavioral Finance;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

    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:ver:wpaper:03/2015. 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: (Michael Reiter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/isverit.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.