The Impact Of Decision Power On Financial Risk Tolerance And Asset Allocation

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John E. Gilliam
John E. Grable
Vickie L. Hampton


financial risk tolerance, decision power, married couples


This research considers the impact of decision power (Blood & Wolfe, 1960) and demographic variables within a couples relationship on risk tolerance and portfolio risk levels. Married couples (N = 175) separately completed a survey consisting of the Blood and Wolfe Decision Power Index, the Survey of Consumer Finances risk tolerance question, demographic information, and selected financial variables. Unlike their husbands, the study found an effect of decision power for wives and portfolio risk level, suggesting that the wifes decision power affects portfolio risk levels. Decision power was found to be a significant factor in risk tolerance for both the husband and wife. Findings indicate that both portfolio risk levels and risk tolerance is determined by the education of the wife and not the husband. Further, a divergence in risk levels occurred when the husband owned a greater degree of assets than the wife.


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