The Grable and Lytton risk-tolerance scale

A 15-year retrospective


  • Stephen Kuzniak Department of Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics, University of Georgia
  • Abed Rabbani
  • Wookjae Heo
  • Jorge Ruiz-Menjivar
  • John Grable



Risk tolerance, Risk, Risk scale, Risk scoring, Risk assessment


Over a decade ago, Grable and Lytton (1999) developed, tested, and published a financial risk-tolerance scale in Financial Services Review that has since been widely used by consumers, financial advisers, and researchers to evaluate a person’s willingness to engage in a risky financial behavior. Analysis of data (n 160,279) spanning the timeframe 2007 to 2013 provides evidence that the risk-tolerance scale’s reliability and validity have remained robust since the scale was first developed. The scale’s estimated Cronbach’s was 0.77 during this time period. Consistent with the literature, high scale scores (representing a greater willingness to take risks) were found to be associated with equity ownership and negatively related to cash and bond holdings.




How to Cite

Kuzniak, S., Rabbani, A., Heo, W., Ruiz-Menjivar, J., & Grable, J. (2015). The Grable and Lytton risk-tolerance scale: A 15-year retrospective. Financial Services Review, 24(2), 177–192.



New Original Submission