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On The Risk of Stocks in the Long Run

Zvi Bodie

Boston University - Department of Finance & Economics

December 1994

Harvard Business School Working Paper No 95-013

This paper examines the proposition that investing in common stocks is less risky the longer an investor plans to hold them. If the proposition were true, then the cost of insuring against earning less than the risk-free rate of interest should decline as the length of the investment horizon increases. The paper shows that the opposite is true even if stock returns are "mean-reverting" in the long run. The case for young people investing more heavily in stocks than old people cannot, therefore, rest solely on the long-run properties of stock returns. For guarantors of money-fixed annuities, the proposition that stocks in their portfolio are a better hedge the longer the maturity of their obligations is unambiguously wrong.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 11

JEL Classification: G11

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Date posted: June 8, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Bodie, Zvi, On The Risk of Stocks in the Long Run (December 1994). Harvard Business School Working Paper No 95-013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=5771 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.5771

Contact Information

Zvi Bodie (Contact Author)
Boston University - Department of Finance & Economics ( email )
595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-4160 (Phone)
617-353 6667 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://smgnet.bu.edu/mgmt/profiles/BodieZvi.html
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Citations:  66
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