Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 369-381

First online:

Do Investment Risk Tolerance Attitudes Predict Portfolio Risk?

  • James E. CorterAffiliated withTeachers College, Columbia UniversityTeachers College, Columbia University Email author 
  • , Yuh-Jia ChenAffiliated withMiddle Tennessee State University

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We investigated a new instrument designed to assess investment risk tolerance, the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire (RTQ). RTQ scores were positively correlated with scores on two other investment risk measures, but were not correlated with a measure of sensation-seeking (Zuckerman, 1994), suggesting that investment risk tolerance is not explainable by a general cross-domain appetite for risk. Importantly, RTQ scores were positively correlated with the riskiness of respondents’ actual investment portfolios, meaning that investors with high risk-tolerance score tend to have higher-risk portfolios. Finally, respondents with relatively more investment experience had more risk-tolerant responses and higher-risk portfolios than less experienced investors.


risk tolerance risk aversion sensation seeking decision making investing