Questionnaires of Risk Tolerance, Regret, Overconfidence, and Other Investor Propensities
Carrie H. Pan
Santa Clara University - Department of Finance
Santa Clara University - Department of Finance; Tilburg University
March 10, 2012
SCU Leavey School of Business Research Paper No. 10-05
Typical risk questionnaires aimed at helping advisors guide investors are deficient in five ways. First, each investor has a multitude of risk tolerances, one for each goal and its mental account. Probes for one global risk tolerance miss that multitude. Second, the links between answers to questions in risk questionnaires and recommended portfolio allocations are governed by opaque rules of thumb rather than by transparent theory. Third, investors' risk tolerance varies by circumstances and associated emotions. Failure to account for such variations biases assessments of risk tolerance. Fourth, risk tolerance varies when assessed in foresight or hindsight. Hindsight amplifies regret. Investors with high propensity for hindsight and regret might claim, in hindsight, that advisors have overstated their risk tolerance. Fifth, investor propensities other than risk tolerance and regret matter to advisors as they guide investors. We discuss these deficiencies and offer remedies, based on a survey of more than 2,500 people.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: Risk tolerance, Overconfidence, Hindsight, Regret, Trust, Maximization, Portfolio Theory, Behavioral Finance, Financial Advisors
JEL Classification: D81, G00, G11working papers series
Date posted: February 9, 2010 ; Last revised: March 15, 2012
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