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Just How Much Do Individual Investors Lose by Trading?

  • Brad M. Barber
  • Yi-Tsung Lee
  • Yu-Jane Liu
  • Terrance Odean

Individual investor trading results in systematic and economically large losses. Using a complete trading history of all investors in Taiwan, we document that the aggregate portfolio of individuals suffers an annual performance penalty of 3.8 percentage points. Individual investor losses are equivalent to 2.2% of Taiwan's gross domestic product or 2.8% of the total personal income. Virtually all individual trading losses can be traced to their aggressive orders. In contrast, institutions enjoy an annual performance boost of 1.5�percentage points, and both the aggressive and passive trades of institutions are profitable. Foreign institutions garner nearly half of institutional profits. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 609-632

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:2:p:609-632
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