Investing Unit 2: Investment Preferences

Personal Finance February 13, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF




What are Your Investment Preferences?

Consider each pair of words below as a continuum. Place an "x" on each line of the continuum to indicate how important each of these features is to you. Marking the middle of a line would therefore mean that the features were of equal importance.

Low risk (Safety) _____|_____ High risk
Low rate of return _____|_____ High rate of return
Low capital growth _____|_____ High capital growth
High capital preservation _____|_____ Low capital preservation
Not very liquid _____|_____ Highly liquid
Shortterm maturity _____|_____ Longterm maturity
Taxable _____|_____ Taxexempt
No minimum investment _____|_____ High minimum investment
Low costs and fees _____|_____ High costs and fees
Little or no management required _____|_____ Much management required
Present income _____|_____ Capital growth
Conservative _____|_____ Aggressive

Figure 5. What are Your Investment Preferences?

Adapted from: Hogarth, Jeanne and Swanson, Josephine (1987). TOPICs, Investment basics, Cornell University, 1987.

The exercise above can be downloaded:

If others are sharing investment responsibility with you, ask them to complete it as well.


  • Review your responses carefully.
  • Check for inconsistencies in the preferences you have indicated. (For example, do you prefer things that are unlikely to come together, e.g., low risk and high return?)
  • Work to understand and resolve inconsistencies and differences in order to assure that your overall investment strategies and asset allocation are consistent with both your needs and your preferences.