IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ysm/somwrk/ysm441.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Diversification Decisions of Individual Investors and Asset Prices

Author

Listed:
  • Alok Kumar

    () (Mendoza College of Business)

  • William N. Goetzmann

    () (Yale University, School of Management)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine if the diversification decisions of individual investors influence asset prices. First, we show that a vast majority of individual investors in our sample are under-diversified and the unexpectedly high idiosyncratic risk in their portfolios results in a welfare loss - the least diversified group of investors earn 2.40% lower return annually than the most diversified group of investors on a risk-adjusted basis. Next, we examine the determinants of investors' under-diversification and find that younger, low-income, and relatively less sophisticated investors hold less diversified portfolios. In addition, investors who prefer skewness, exhibit relatively stronger familiarity bias, and exhibit greater over-confidence are less diversified. Finally, we show that the systematic under-diversification of individual investors influence asset prices. A zero-cost portfolio (DIV factor) that takes a long position in stocks with the least diversified individual investor clientele and a short position in stocks with the most diversified individual investor clientele earns an annual excess return of 7.44% on a risk-adjusted basis. Furthermore, this factor has power to explain the cross-sectional variation in returns for a considerable group of stocks

Suggested Citation

  • Alok Kumar & William N. Goetzmann, 2003. "Diversification Decisions of Individual Investors and Asset Prices," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm441, Yale School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm441
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=469441
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Nicolosi, Gina & Peng, Liang & Zhu, Ning, 2009. "Do individual investors learn from their trading experience?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 317-336, May.
    2. Bose, Udichibarna & MacDonald, Ronald & Tsoukas, Serafeim, 2015. "Education and the local equity bias around the world," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 65-88.
    3. Mizrach, Bruce & Weerts, Susan, 2009. "Experts online: An analysis of trading activity in a public Internet chat room," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 266-281, May.
    4. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 779-805.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Individual investors; Diversification; Idiosyncratic risk; Behavioral biases; Asset pricing.;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • 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:ysm:somwrk:ysm441. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/smyalus.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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.