Written By: Abed G. Rabbani, Zheying Yao, Christina Wang, and John E . Grable
Financial risk tolerance is an important personal characteristic that is widely used by financial professionals to guide the development and presentation of client-centered recommendations. As more baby boomers enter retirement, research on how these individuals perceive their willingness to take financial risks has gained importance, particularly as the focus of investment portfolios changes from capital accumulation to capital preservation in retirement. This study examined the role of sensation seeking and locus of control on financial risk tolerance for a pre-retiree baby boomer sample using the 2014 wave of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Findings from three ordinary least square (OLS) regression models showed that baby boomers who were not sensation seekers, and those who displayed an external locus of control orientation were more likely to exhibit a low tolerance for financial risk. Furthermore, those who engaged in sensation-seeking behavior were more likely to have an internal locus of control orientation and a high tolerance for risk.