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This paper incorporates human capital into the well-established portfolio theory by allowing for job security in personal portfolio choice. Our model predicts that young people hold more cash to hedge against risk associated with human capital (layoff risk). As people age, layoff risk decreases, and consequently, they invest in more risky assets – stocks in their portfolios. However, as people approach retirement, their human capital diminishes, and they become more risk averse. Hence, they hold more cash again. Our model provides a plausible explanation for the observed investment behavior of people who reveal humped shape stock holdings over the life cycle. Our results suggest that financial advisors should take into account different levels of job security when giving financial advice to different individuals.

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© 2010 The Institute for Business and Finance Research, LLC. Deposited here with permission from the publisher. Publisher's version of record:

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Global Journal of Business Research


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