The impact of personality traits on attitude to financial risk

Chris Brooks, Louis Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


While the effects of emotions on attitudes to investment risk are now well documented, the influence of personality factors has been less researched. This paper examines the role of personality traits in determining financial risk tolerance. Using an extensive survey of UK-based retail investors, we show that personality traits and characteristics are more important than emotions in determining attitude to risk. We also observe that the widely adopted ?Big Five? framework is insufficient to characterise this relationship adequately, with significant roles for financial self-efficacy, resilience, and trait anger. Since some of these characteristics can be modified, our findings are suggestive that appropriate training and support for those making financial decisions could lead to better outcomes over the longer term.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101501
JournalResearch in International Business and Finance
Early online date30 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Innovate UK and the ESRC for funding this research under Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant number 11748 . We thank Distribution Technology for allowing us to use their attitude to risk questionnaire. We are grateful to Simona Cantarella, Heather Richards, an anonymous referee of this journal, and participants of the Behavioural Finance Working Group conference 2021 for valuable comments on a previous version of this paper.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


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