Measuring Financial Advice: aligning client elicited and revealed risk

by   John R. J. Thompson, et al.

Financial advisors use questionnaires and discussions with clients to determine a suitable portfolio of assets that will allow clients to reach their investment objectives. Financial institutions assign risk ratings to each security they offer, and those ratings are used to guide clients and advisors to choose an investment portfolio risk that suits their stated risk tolerance. This paper compares client Know Your Client (KYC) profile risk allocations to their investment portfolio risk selections using a value-at-risk discrepancy methodology. Value-at-risk is used to measure elicited and revealed risk to show whether clients are over-risked or under-risked, changes in KYC risk lead to changes in portfolio configuration, and cash flow affects a client's portfolio risk. We demonstrate the effectiveness of value-at-risk at measuring clients' elicited and revealed risk on a dataset provided by a private Canadian financial dealership of over 50,000 accounts for over 27,000 clients and 300 advisors. By measuring both elicited and revealed risk using the same measure, we can determine how well a client's portfolio aligns with their stated goals. We believe that using value-at-risk to measure client risk provides valuable insight to advisors to ensure that their practice is KYC compliant, to better tailor their client portfolios to stated goals, communicate advice to clients to either align their portfolios to stated goals or refresh their goals, and to monitor changes to the clients' risk positions across their practice.


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