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Communicating Asset Risk: How the format of historic volatility information affects risk perception and investment decisions

  • Siebenmorgen, Niklas


    (Graduiertenkolleg Finanz-/Gütermärkte)

  • Weber, Elke U.


    (Columbia University)

  • Weber, Martin


    (Lehrstuhl für ABWL, Finanzwirtschaft, insb. Bankbetriebslehre)

An experiment examined the effect that the type and presentation format of information about investment options have on expectations held by investors about asset risk, returns, and volatility. Some respondents were provided with the names of investment options in addition to historical (1987-97) volatility data, and some were not. Historical volatility was presented either as a bar graph of returns per year or as a continuous density distribution of returns over the 10-year period. Risk and volatility perceptions both varied significantly as a function of type and format of information, but in different ways. Biases in risk perception, but not in volatility forecasts, affected portfolio decisions.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 00-38.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 14 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:00-38
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  1. Elke U. Weber & Richard A. Milliman, 1997. "Perceived Risk Attitudes: Relating Risk Perception to Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(2), pages 123-144, February.
  2. Donald L. Keefer & Samuel E. Bodily, 1983. "Three-Point Approximations for Continuous Random Variables," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(5), pages 595-609, May.
  3. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  4. Elke U. Weber & Christopher Hsee, 1998. "Cross-Cultural Differences in Risk Perception, but Cross-Cultural Similarities in Attitudes Towards Perceived Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1205-1217, September.
  5. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
  6. Sarin, Rakesh K. & Weber, Martin, 1993. "Risk-value models," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 135-149, October.
  7. John Lintner, 1965. "Security Prices, Risk, And Maximal Gains From Diversification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 20(4), pages 587-615, December.
  8. Siebenmorgen, Niklas & Weber, Martin, 2000. "A Behavioral Approach to the Asset Allocation Puzzle," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-46, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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