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The Changing Concept of Financial Risk

Author

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  • CORNELIS A. LOS

    (Kent State University)

Abstract

The recent rapid accumulation of anomalous empirical research results has made clear that the classical definition of financial risk based on asset classes only is ready for a epistemological change. Currently, the definition of financial risk suffers from three major deficiencies: (1) financial risk is insufficiently measured by the conventional second - order moments; (2) financial risk is assumed to be stable and all distribution moments are assumed to be time-invariant; and (3) pricing observations are assumed to exhibit only serial dependencies, which can be simply removed by simple inverse transformations, like the geometric Brownian motion, Markov, ARIMA, or (G)ARCH models. But (1) higher - order moments are acknowledged by experienced traders to be influential in asset and derivative valuations; (2) distributions of returns are observed to be nonstationary; and (3) difficult to observe long term dependencies have surprised many risk managers. Based on accumulated empirical evidence, a new funtional definition of financial risk that takes account of asset classes, time and time horizons is required to fully capture the concept as required in the empirical financial markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornelis A. Los, 2004. "The Changing Concept of Financial Risk," Finance 0409034, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0409034
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/fin/papers/0409/0409034.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stulz, René M., 1984. "Optimal Hedging Policies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 127-140, June.
    2. Cornelis A. Los, 2004. "Nonparametric Efficiency Testing of Asian Stock Markets Using Weekly Data," Finance 0409033, EconWPA.
    3. J. Tobin, 1958. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 65-86.
    4. Jackwerth, Jens Carsten & Rubinstein, Mark, 1996. " Recovering Probability Distributions from Option Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1611-1632, December.
    5. Schwert, G William, 1989. " Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change over Time?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1115-1153, December.
    6. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-1617, December.
    7. French, Kenneth R. & Roll, Richard, 1986. "Stock return variances : The arrival of information and the reaction of traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 5-26, September.
    8. Robert Savit, 1988. "When random is not random: An introduction to chaos in market prices," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 271-290, June.
    9. Rubinstein, Mark, 1994. " Implied Binomial Trees," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(3), pages 771-818, July.
    10. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    11. Mark Rubinstein., 1994. "Implied Binomial Trees," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-232, University of California at Berkeley.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cornelis A. Los, 2005. "The Degree of Stability of Price Diffusion," Finance 0508006, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • C00 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - General

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