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Do investors put their money where their mouth is? Stock market expectations and investing behavior

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  • Merkle, Christoph
  • Weber, Martin

Abstract

To understand how real investors use their beliefs and preferences in investing decisions, we examine a panel survey of self-directed online investors at a UK bank. The survey asks for return expectations, risk expectations, and risk tolerance of these investors in three-month intervals between 2008 and 2010. We combine the survey data with investors’ actual trading data and portfolio holdings. We find that investor beliefs have little predictive power for immediate trading behavior. The exception is a positive effect of increases in return expectation on buying activity. Portfolio risk levels and changes are more systematically related to return and risk expectations. In line with financial theory, risk taking increases with return expectations and decreases with risk expectations. In response to their expectations, investors also adjust the riskiness of assets they trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Merkle, Christoph & Weber, Martin, 2014. "Do investors put their money where their mouth is? Stock market expectations and investing behavior," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 372-386.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:46:y:2014:i:c:p:372-386
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2014.03.042
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    Cited by:

    1. Huck, Steffen & Schmidt, Tobias & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2014. "The standard portfolio choice problem in Germany," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2014-308, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    2. Stefano Giglio & Matteo Maggiori & Johannes Stroebel & Stephen Utkus, 2019. "Five facts about beliefs and portfolios," CESifo Working Paper Series 7666, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Alexander Kempf & Christoph Merkle & Alexandra Niessen†Ruenzi, 2014. "Low Risk and High Return – Affective Attitudes and Stock Market Expectations," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 20(5), pages 995-1030, November.
    4. Sara Jonsson & Inga-Lill Söderberg, 2018. "Investigating explanatory theories on laypeople’s risk perception of personal economic collapse in a bank crisis – the Cyprus case," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(6), pages 763-779, June.
    5. Cardak, Buly A. & Martin, Vance L. & McAllister, Richard, 2019. "The effects of the Global Financial Crisis on the stock holding decisions of Australian households," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    6. K. Jeremy Ko & Zhijian (James) Huang, 2012. "Persistence of Beliefs in an Investment Experiment," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 1-34.
    7. Merkle, Christoph & Egan, Daniel P. & Davies, Greg B., 2015. "Investor happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 167-186.
    8. Egan, Daniel & Merkle, Christoph & Weber, Martin, 2014. "Second-order beliefs and the individual investor," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PB), pages 652-666.
    9. John Ameriks & Gábor Kézdi & Minjoon Lee & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2018. "Heterogeneity in Expectations, Risk Tolerance, and Household Stock Shares: The Attenuation Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 25269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kaplanski, Guy & Levy, Haim & Veld, Chris & Veld-Merkoulova, Yulia, 2016. "Past returns and the perceived Sharpe ratio," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 149-167.
    11. Merkle, Christoph, 2018. "The curious case of negative volatility," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 92-108.
    12. Steffen Huck & Tobias Schmidt & Georg Weizsäcker, 2015. "The Standard Portfolio Choice Problem in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 5441, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Merkle, Christoph, 2017. "Financial overconfidence over time: Foresight, hindsight, and insight of investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 68-87.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expectations; Beliefs; Risk; Return; Trading behavior; Portfolio choice;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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