Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Stock Market Coronavirus Deviation from Overall Outlook for 2020 - Video - 28th Feb 20
Stock Market SPX to Rise back to 3350 - 28th Feb 20
Stock Performance in the Rising Coronavirus Fever - 28th Feb 20
Stock Market SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level - 28th Feb 20
Will CoronaVirus Pandemic Trigger Stocks Bear Market 2020? - 28th Feb 20
Dow Long-term Trend Analysis - Coronavirus Triggering a Stocks Bear Market? - 27th Feb 20
Trump or Sanders? Both will pile up the Debt - 27th Feb 20
Oil Price Is Now More Volatile Than Bitcoin - 27th Feb 20
A Digital “Fedcoin” May Be Coming… And It Would Be Terrifying - 27th Feb 20
India's Nifty 50 Stocks: Does the Bad Jobs Outlook Spell Trouble for Stocks? - 27th Feb 20
How Crypto Currencies Are Helping Players Go Private - 27th Feb 20 -
Gold and Silver The Die Is Cast - 27th Feb 20
US Economy Permanently Addicted to Zero Interest Rates - 27th Feb 20
Has the Stock Market Waterfall Event Started Or A Buying Opportunity? - 27th Feb 20
Advantages of Enrolling in a Retirement Plan - 27th Feb 20 - LS
South Korea Coronavirus Outbreak Data Analysis Warning Rate of Infection is Exponential! - 26th Feb 20
Gold Price Long-term Trend Analysis Forecast 2020 - 26th Feb 20
Fake Markets Are on Collision Course with Reality - 26th Feb 20
Microsoft is Crushing the S&P 500, Secret Trait Of Stocks That Soar 1,000%+ - 26th Feb 20
Europe's Best Ski Resorts For The Ultimate Adventure - 26th Feb 20
Samsung Galaxy S20+ vs Galaxy S10+ Which One to Buy? - 26th Feb 20
Gold Is Taking on $1,700 amid Rising Coronavirus Fears - 26th Feb 20
Is This What Falling Through the Floor Looks Like in Stocks? - 26th Feb 20
Gold Minsky Moment Coming - 26th Feb 20
Why Every Student Should Study Economics - 26th Feb 20
Stock Market Correction Over? - 26th Feb 20
US Bond Market Yield Curve Patterns – What To Expect In 2020 - 25th Feb 20
Has Stock Market Waterfall Event Started Or A Buying Opportunity? - 25th Feb 20
Coronavirus IN Sheffield! Royal Hallamshire Hospital treating 2 infected Patients, UK - 25th Feb 20
Dow Short-term Trend Analysis - Coronavirus Trigger a Stocks Bear Market? - 24th Feb 20
Sustained Silver Rally Coming? - 24th Feb 20
Should Investors Worry about Repo Market and Buy Gold? - 24th Feb 20
Are FANG Technology Stocks Setting Up For A Market Crash? - 24th Feb 20
Gold Above $1,600 Amid FOMC Minutes and Coronavirus Impact - 24th Feb 20
CoronaVirus Pandemic Day 76 Trend Forecast Update - Infected 540k, Minus China 1715, Deaths 4920 - 23rd Feb 20 -
Ways to Find Startup Capital - 23rd Feb 20
Stock Market Deviation from Overall Outlook for 2020 - 22nd Feb 20
The Shanghai Composite and Coronavirus: A Revealing Perspective - 22nd Feb 20
Baltic Dry, Copper, Oil, Tech and China Continue Call for Stock Market Crash Soon - 22nd Feb 20
Gold Warning – This is Not a Buying Opportunity - 22nd Feb 20
Is The Technology Sector FANG Stocks Setting Up For A Market Crash? - 22nd Feb 20
Coronavirus China Infection Statistics Analysis, Probability Forecasts 1/2 Million Infected - 21st Feb 20
Is Crude Oil Firmly on the Upswing Now? - 20th Feb 20
What Can Stop the Stocks Bull – Or At Least, Make It Pause? - 20th Feb 20
Trump and Economic News That Drive Gold, Not Just Coronavirus - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus COVID19 UK Infection Prevention, Boosting Immune Systems, Birmingham, Sheffield - 20th Feb 20
Silver’s Valuable Insights Into the Upcoming PMs Rally - 20th Feb 20
Coronavirus Coming Storm Act Now to Protect Yourselves and Family to Survive COVID-19 Pandemic - 19th Feb 20
Future Silver Prices Will Shock People, and They’ll Kick Themselves for Not Buying Under $20… - 19th Feb 20
What Alexis Kennedy Learned from Launching Cultist Simulator - 19th Feb 20
Stock Market Potential Short-term top - 18th Feb 20
Coronavirus Fourth Turning - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 18th Feb 20
The Stocks Hit Worst From the Coronavirus - 18th Feb 20
Tips on Pest Control: How to Prevent Pests and Rodents - 18th Feb 20
Buying a Custom Built Gaming PC From - 1. Delivery and Unboxing - 17th Feb 20
BAIDU (BIDU) Illustrates Why You Should NOT Invest in Chinese Stocks - 17th Feb 20
Financial Markets News Report: February 17, 2020 - February 21, 2020 - 17th Feb 20
NVIDIA (NVDA) GPU King For AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 17th Feb 20
Stock Market Bubble - No One Gets Out Of Here Alive! - 17th Feb 20
British Pound GBP Trend Forecast 2020 - 16th Feb 20
SAMSUNG AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 16th Feb 20
Ignore the Polls, the Markets Have Already Told You Who Wins in 2020 - 16th Feb 20
UK Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic WARNING! Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham Outbreaks Probable - 16th Feb 20
iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF IBB AI Mega-trend Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 15th Feb 20
Gold Stocks Still Stalled - 15th Feb 20
Is The Technology Stocks Sector Setting Up For A Crash? - 15th Feb 20
UK Calm Before Corona Virus Storm - Infections Forecast into End March 2020 - 15th Feb 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter


Stock Market Investors Are Becoming More Knowledgeable!

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2010 Aug 07, 2010 - 02:11 AM GMT

By: Sy_Harding


It’s quite discouraging to look at the historical performance of public investors.

For instance, the most recent annual study by research firm Dalbar Inc. shows that over the 20-year period ended December 31, 2009, the S&P 500 Index gained an average of 8.2%, but the average equity investor had an average annual return of only 3.2%. Of course, the word ‘average’ is very misleading. Over that 20-year period the S&P 500 was up as much as 50% in individual years, down as much as 40% in others, providing ample opportunity for market-timing strategies to buy low and sell high, and so not only match but outperform the index.

Yet, although well aware that the basic rule or goal of investing is to buy low and sell high, there has always been a strong pattern of investors becoming more encouraged and bullish near market tops, therefore engaging in more buying at higher prices, and more worried and bearish when significant corrections have been underway for some time, and so engaging in more selling at low prices.

Wall Street is partly to blame. As a stock-broker friend once told me it is far easier and more lucrative to sell an investor what he or she wants, a stock or mutual fund that has already gained 50% or 100%, which has everyone excited about it, but may be overvalued and have limited further upside, than to try to convince them to buy a stock or sector that is down 50% and ‘out of favor’, even though it may be undervalued and close to a bottom from which it will soon begin its own big rally.

Another form of ‘chasing performance’ and buying high, can be seen in the popularity of choosing stocks and mutual funds from the lists of those with the best performances of the previous one to three years. How popular is the strategy? The Investment Company Institute says that 88% of mutual fund buyers cite a fund’s previous performance as the primary reason they choose one fund over another.

Does it work?

John Rekenthaler, vice-president of research at fund-rating service Morningstar, puts it this way, “Investors piling into the hottest funds of the previous three-year period will be sorry, as studies show they tend to underperform over the next period, while the lower ranked funds tend to be the winners over the next three-year period.”

It’s discouraging to go back 100 years and more, after all the books that have been written and efforts that have been made to educate investors, and see the destructive patterns have never changed.

And yet this year there have been encouraging signs that public investors are indeed becoming more knowledgeable about how the market works, and seem to have done a better job with their timing.

Investors poured money into equity mutual funds in the first four months of the year, and then began moving it back out in May as the market began to top out. Since May more than $40 billion has been taken out of equity mutual funds.

More recently, even though the market was up 7% in July, trading volume tumbled as institutional investors (large pension plans, insurance companies, investment banks) and many hedge funds sat on their cash and did not participate.

And it appears that retail investors took the same approach as the institutions and professionals, right or wrong, and were also not enticed back in by the higher prices, in fact seem to have sold into the rally, lightening up even more. Investors pulled an additional $9 billion from equity mutual funds in July, selling into the strength.

It remains to be seen whether the institutions and professionals will be correct in expecting the July rally to have limited upside before the correction resumes. But this time investors seem to be following their lead rather than the always bullish lead of Wall Street.

Investors have also been pouring their money into bonds, and while many analysts, including myself, are concerned that a bubble may be forming in bonds, so far it has been working out. Hopefully, it’s another indication that public investors are becoming smarter, more knowledgeable. That would be bad news for Wall Street but good news for investors.

Sy Harding is president of Asset Management Research Corp, publishers of the financial website, and the free daily market blog,

© 2010 Copyright Sy Harding- All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules