We survey thousands of affluent American investors to examine the relationship between personalities and investment decisions. The Big Five personality traits explain investors’ beliefs about the stock market and economy, risk preferences, and social interaction tendencies. Two personality traits, Neuroticism and Openness, stand out in their explanatory power for equity investments. Investors with high Neuroticism and those with low Openness tend to allocate less investment to equities. We examine the underlying mechanisms and find evidence for both standard channels of preferences and beliefs and other nonstandard channels. We show consistent out-of-sample evidence in representative panels of Australian and German households.
Financial Markets Group Discussion Papers DP 873