Investors' Attitude towards Risk in Periods of High Market Volatility
Lígia M. Nunes
Statistics Department, Banco de Prtugal, Lisbon, Portugal

Over the last decades, financial markets have experienced high level standards of integration and development. Under this context, financial institutions made available to their clients a set of investment instruments with significantly different levels of risk and expected return, aiming to match different investors' preferences and attitudes towards uncertainty.

In the economic and financial literature, investors' portfolio allocations are commonly used as a reliable indicator of attitude towards risk. In fact, looking to this indicator, it is possible to measure the relative level of risk that an economic agent is willing to take, given that the relevant information is available for decision making purposes.

Since 2008, more particularly following the advent of the worldwide financial crisis, investors' perception of risk and uncertainty increased, leading to the adoption of a more cautious attitude when making investment decisions.

The aim of this paper is to understand how the perception of the series of financial events that led to the current turmoil, by Portuguese investors, was transmitted to their exposure to risk and, consequently to their investments.

Keywords: Investors' attitude; Risk; Portfolio allocations; Market volatility

Biography: Master in Financial Economy by Universidade de Coimbra.

Economist at the Monetary and Financial Statistics Unit of the Statistics Department of Banco de Portugal, since 2009.