What Matters to Individual Investors? Evidence from the Horse’s Mouth
58 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2019
Date Written: September 30, 2019
We survey a representative sample of U.S. individuals about how well leading academic theories describe their financial beliefs and decisions. We find substantial support for many factors hypothesized to affect portfolio equity share, particularly background risk, investment horizon, rare disasters, transactional factors, and fixed costs of stock market participation. Individuals tend to believe that past mutual fund performance is a good signal of stock-picking skill, actively managed funds do not suffer from diseconomies of scale, value stocks are safer and do not have higher expected returns, and high-momentum stocks are riskier and do have higher expected returns.
Keywords: portfolio choice, individual investors, mutual funds, survey
JEL Classification: G11, G23, G40, G50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation