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Über kurz oder lang - Welche Rolle spielt der Anlagehorizont bei Investitionsentscheidungen?

Alexander Klos (), Thomas Langer () and Martin Weber
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Alexander Klos: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: L 13, 15, D-68131 Mannheim
Thomas Langer: Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster Lehrstuhl für BWL, insbesondere Finanzierung, Postal: Universitätsstraße 14-16 48143 Münster

No 02-49, Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim

Abstract: The question how an allocation decision is influenced by the investment horizon is of highest practical relevance, in particular in the context of retirement savings. Practitioners refer to the law of large numbers to argue that for a sufficiently long investment horizon it is almost certain to realize a return close to the mean return of the asset. Such time diversification effects allow an investor to appreciate the high returns of stocks without bearing too much of a risk. In contrast to this reasoning, there are theoretical arguments, e.g. from the view point of expected utility theory, that claim the investment horizon to be irrelevant for the allocation decision. It is the goal of this paper to present the most relevant arguments in the debate between the two camps and to pinpoint the reasons for the confusion. We further aim to show that even in an expected utility framework the irrelevance of the investment horizon is by no means a general result. An extension of the basic model by aspects as background risk or autocorrelated returns does not only result in more realistic scenarios, but also demonstrates that expected utility results can be well in line with the practitioners' view.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-rmg
Date: 2002-09-12
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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