Two Studies of Behavioral Factors Influencing Household Portfolios

This research project will test to what extent two behavioral factors – ambiguity aversion and gambling motives – can explain why many Dutch individual investors hold poorly diversified portfolios and tend to trade excessively. Further, we will investigate whether financial literacy, advice from intermediaries and investment experience can help mitigate the negative effects of these factors. In a time when people increasingly bear responsibility for their own retirement savings, it is important to understand why some investors tend to select sub-par investment portfolios and which groups of investors are especially prone to behavioral biases. Indirectly, our research may also illustrate the importance of delegating a large part of the responsibility for the asset allocation, portfolio choice and diversification of people’s retirements savings to pension funds, insurance companies and fund managers, instead of letting individual employees or retirees make complex investment decisions.

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Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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