In an extended variant of the life-cycle hypothesis, saving behaviour is shown to depend crucially on the interaction between two preference parameters : Y (gamma), which represents "risk" attitudes (aversion, prudence...), and d (delta), the rate of "time" depreciation. Hence, the predictions of four specific accumulation regimes : the "Armchair investors" (high Y, low d) ; the "Entreprising" (low Y, low d) ; the "Hotheads" (low Y, high d) ; and the "Short-sighted prudent" (high Y, high d). The Insee "Patrimoine 1997" survey allows to obtain global relative measures of the two preference parameters. An econometric analysis of the amount and composition of wealth shows then that this savers' typology has sizeable explanatory power, with effects as predicted. Ceteris paribus, "armchair investors" accumulate more wealth than other households. "Hotheads" own less homes and Pep (insurance saving products), "short-sighted prudent" less (often) stocks, and these two types of savers invest less in long-term saving (whether for housing or retirement) than the other categories.
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