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Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?

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  • Lei Feng
  • Mark Seasholes

Abstract

This paper provides an in depth analysis of an investor’s reluctance to realize losses and his propensity to realize gains – a behavior known as the disposition effect. Together, sophistication (static differences across investors) and trading experience (evolving behavior of a single investor) eliminate the reluctance to realize losses. However, an asymmetry exists as sophistication and trading experience reduce the propensity to realize gains by 37% (but fail to eliminate this part of the behavior.) Our research design allows us to follow an individual’s behavior from the start of his investing life/career. This ability makes it possible to track the evolution of the disposition effect as it is reduced and/or disappears. Our results are robust to alternative explanations including feedback trading, calendar effects, and frequency of observation. Copyright Springer 2005

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  • Lei Feng & Mark Seasholes, 2005. "Do Investor Sophistication and Trading Experience Eliminate Behavioral Biases in Financial Markets?," Review of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 305-351, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:eurfin:v:9:y:2005:i:3:p:305-351
    DOI: 10.1007/s10679-005-2262-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter R. Locke & Zhan Onayev, 2005. "Trade Duration: Information and Trade Disposition," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 113-129, February.
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