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Communicating asset risk: how the format of historic volatility information affects risk perception and investment decisions

Niklas Siebenmorgen, Elke U. Weber and Martin Weber

No 00-38, Papers from Sonderforschungsbreich 504

Abstract: An experiment examined the effect that the type and presentation format of information about investment options have on expectations held by investors about asset risk, returns, and volatility. Some respondents were provided with the names of investment options in addition to historical (1987-97) volatility data, and some were not. Historical volatility was presented either as a bar graph of returns per year or as a continuous density distribution of returns over the 10-year period. Risk and volatility perceptions both varied significantly as a function of type and format of information, but in different ways. Biases in risk perception, but not in volatility forecasts, affected portfolio decisions.

Keywords: Risk perception; volatility forecasts; portfolio decisions; behavioral finance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000
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