Speculative trading preferences of retail investor birth cohorts

Grace Lepone*, Joakim Westerholm, Danika Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines the effect of investor birth cohorts on speculative investment preferences. Using retail trading and portfolio data from Finland over two decades, we find that individuals who have experienced desirable macro-economic and social conditions during adolescence, such as high gross domestic product (GDP) growth and low divorce rates, are more likely to invest in speculative stocks. A positive relation is found between the proportion of speculative-prone cohorts in the stock market and returns of stocks of lottery nature. We provide new evidence on the adverse effect of speculative investments, finding that cohorts with higher speculative investment weights on their portfolios achieve lower absolute and risk-adjusted returns. We also provide support for earlier research that identifies a positive association between recent portfolio performance and the propensity to invest in speculative stocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-574
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting & Finance
Issue number1
Early online date24 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Accounting & Finance published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • birth cohort
  • investor behaviour
  • life experience
  • lottery stock
  • speculative trading


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