Title: Retail vs. private investors: are gains and losses perceived differently?

Authors: Andrea Lippi

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Law, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Via Emilia Parmense, 84 – 29122, Piacenza, Italy

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to test whether the investors' initial starting capitals and the macroeconomic context may influence their gains and losses perception. To this purpose, our analysis, for the first time in the literature on the topic, considers and compares two samples of investors, private and retail, examined in two different years, 2015 and 2009. Based on the answers obtained from specifically devised questionnaires, the paper is organised in three steps of analysis to: 1) test the differences in gain and loss perception; 2) check the level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction in situations of gain and loss; 3) test the tendency to preserve the status quo. The results obtained demonstrate that private and retail investors perceive gains and losses differently, even if a convergence over the years between the two samples examined is observed. Maintaining the status quo is the main goal for private investors.

Keywords: perception of gains; perception of losses; decision making; private investors; retail investors.

DOI: 10.1504/IJADS.2017.085086

International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, 2017 Vol.10 No.3, pp.193 - 212

Received: 04 Jul 2016
Accepted: 03 Feb 2017

Published online: 10 Jul 2017 *

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