Consumption And Investment Choices
Normative financial economics concerns optimum decisions made by individuals, firms and/or institutions. In an important sense, a lot of the topic matter of investments deals with optimum choices of investment and consumption. So far we assumed that the investor/consumer makes optimal choices from among alternative combinations of present and contingent future consumption opportunities. Initially, we suggested that the individual picks the combination that he or she likes best.
This barely offers much help. Imagine an Analyst saying to litigant: “do what’s best”. Our second characterization of investor behavior utilized the concept of indifference curves or, more generally, indifference areas. The conclusion was more elegant relatively, although hardly more useful: pick the combination from the chance line (or airplane or hyperplane) on the best (best) indifference surface.
At this point, we’ve provided little help for the Analyst seeking to offer path to individuals or establishments seeking advice on either the optimal total be spent or the particular investments that should be undertaken. As we will see, an Analyst can offer useful advice concerning such decisions. Individuals varies in choices, circumstances, constraints and predictions.
A rather rich body of analytic methods can be invoked to help take such differences into consideration. Such techniques give a core group of normative methods for investment management. Here we will deal with three aspects that may lead educated individuals to adopt different strategies: variations in preferences, distinctions in wealth and variations in predictions. We leave for the analysis of differences in constraints later, other circumstances, etc.
A formal construct that helps to highlight the differences among utility-based, wealth-based and prediction-based investment decisions uses the concept of consumer electricity and the assumption that the purpose of the buyer is to maximize the expected value of such energy. In this scheme, (1) consumer tool summarizes a person’s preferences, (2) possible combinations of consumption are related to wealth, and (3) the possibilities useful to compute expected utility can be considered predictions. In principle, you can thus determine the level to which investment decisions vary due to distinctions in predictions instead of differences in preferences or differences in wealth. In practice, such a neat taxonomy is difficult to achieve.
Nonetheless, every investment decision should be scrutinized so that they can determine (as greatest) the role that all such type of difference plays. Consider an individual trying to select a combination of apples today, apples in the future if the weather is good, and apples in the foreseeable future if the weather is bad.
It is generally assumed that consumer power functions are such that all sorts of usage are goods (i.e., more is preferred to less, other things equal). Additionally it is assumed that in such functions generally, marginal power (the added electricity in one added device) decreases as the number of units boosts (i.e. there are lowering returns to range in intake).
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The energy associated with additional consumption in one time frame may depend on the quantities consumed in previous schedules. Consumers may get into practices so that both absolute amount of consumption and any differ from earlier levels may be worth focusing on. In many cases Analysts will take neither of these possible complications into account. Vector c, which represents a consumption plan, includes entries for at least two schedules; in our case: now and later. Let tp be a vector of the same duration with coefficients indicating the consumer/investor’s time choice.
This indicates that a given amount of intake in the foreseeable future provides 0.95 times as much utility as the same amount of usage now. If there were a third time period, the entries for your period in vector tp would be smaller than those for the second time frame typically, and so on.