Portfolio Choice: Familiarity, Hedging, and Industry Bias
55 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020 Last revised: 7 May 2020
Date Written: May 4, 2020
Investors may under-diversify their portfolios by overweighting securities in which they perceive an informational advantage or by underweighting securities to hedge risks outside the portfolio. We investigate under-diversification in institutional portfolio construction by examining the under/overweighting of industries in U.S. Property-Liability (PL) insurers’ equity portfolios. We find that PL insurers underweight their own industry in their portfolios, as well as highly correlated industries. This underweighting is larger for PL insurers exposed to higher underwriting risk. While PL insurers have an informational advantage in investing in their peers, their underwriting risk drives them to underweight stocks in their industry.
Keywords: Familiarity; Hedging; Industry Bias; Under-Diversification
JEL Classification: G11, G02
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation