It is widely believed that (financial) risk tolerance is highly unstable and particularly subject to market conditions. However, through a series of independent studies there is now strong evidence that this view is incorrect. The most recent study clearly demonstrates the stability of risk tolerance across the 2003 to 2009 market rises and falls through detailed analysis of test/retest data, involving two tests of the same individuals, the first during the 2003-7 bull market and the second in the subsequent bear market. The study confirms the anecdotal evidence from FinaMetrica subscribers that clients' risk tolerance scores remained remarkably stable through the most turbulent market conditions in living memory. Many advisors and others involved in financial advisory services will now need to change their views about the nature of risk tolerance, how it should be assessed and its role in the financial advising process - all of which will be discussed under Consequences for Advice. However, before considering the consequences we should review the evidence for the stability of risk tolerance and before that we should examine why the contrary view is so widespread.Read the Research paper here
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