Behavioral Finance in Investing: The Existence and Importance of 'Investment Tribes' and Risk-Preference Diversity

15 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2021

See all articles by Sid Muralidhar

Sid Muralidhar

Risktyle; The Virginia Tech Foundation

Arun Muralidhar

AlphaEngine Global Investment Solutions; George Washington University

Date Written: October 1, 2020


Using case studies of two investment companies, this paper highlights that organizations may have “investment tribes,” i.e., groups of individuals who appear to exhibit similar risk tendencies for gambles involving gains or losses, possibly with a wide spread of risk preferences. Tribes and risk-preference diversity can influence and impact decision-making. Quantifying and making transparent
the existence of these tribes and individual preferences, using the Risktyle methodology, which extends the original Kahneman and Tversky (1979) approach to identifying risk biases, could improve decision-making, especially in market crises such as that of March 2020. The framework presented can be helpful for investment firms and investment advisors, allowing them to become aware of potential biases. It also can be useful for asset owners that delegate decisions to third parties, because it allows them to understand how the investment firms they delegate to might behave when drawdowns result during market crises.

Keywords: Behavioral Finance; Investment Tribes; Risktyle, Consistency Smile, Behavioral Diagnostic; Behavioral Bias; Loss Aversion; Risk Seeking; Investment Decision-Making

JEL Classification: G11, G40, G41

Suggested Citation

Muralidhar, Sid and Muralidhar, Arun, Behavioral Finance in Investing: The Existence and Importance of 'Investment Tribes' and Risk-Preference Diversity (October 1, 2020). Journal of Investment Consulting, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2020, pp. 48-60, Available at SSRN:

Sid Muralidhar (Contact Author)

Risktyle ( email )

9603 Georgetown Pike
Great Falls, VA VA 22066
United States
5716239272 (Phone)
22066 (Fax)


The Virginia Tech Foundation ( email )

250 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Arun Muralidhar

AlphaEngine Global Investment Solutions ( email )

Great Falls, VA
United States


George Washington University ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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