Hope, Fear and Aspirations
Xue Dong He
Columbia University - Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Xun Yu Zhou
University of Oxford - Nomura Centre for Mathematical Finance
April 1, 2013
We propose a rank-dependent portfolio choice model in continuous time that captures the role in decision making of three emotions: hope, fear and aspirations. Hope and fear are modeled through an inverse-S shaped probability weighting function and aspirations through a probabilistic constraint. By employing the recently developed approach of quantile formulation, we solve the portfolio choice problem both thoroughly and analytically. These solutions motivate us to introduce a fear index, a hope index and a lottery-likeness index to quantify the impacts of three emotions, respectively, on investment behavior. We find that a sufficiently high level of fear endogenously necessitates portfolio insurance. On the other hand, hope is reflected in the agent's perspective on good states of the world: a higher level of hope causes the agent to include more scenarios under the notion of good states and leads to greater payoffs in sufficiently good states. Finally, an exceedingly high level of aspirations results in the construction of a lottery-type payoff, indicating that the agent needs to enter into a pure gamble in order to achieve his goal. We also conduct numerical experiments to demonstrate our findings.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Keywords: portfolio choice, continuous time, rank-dependent utility, probability weighting, SP/A theory, quantile formulation, portfolio insurance
JEL Classification: G11, C61working papers series
Date posted: July 23, 2012 ; Last revised: May 10, 2013
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