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All Guts, No Glory: Trading and Diversification among Online Investors

Author

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  • Anderson, Anders E.S.

    (Swedish Institute for Financial Research)

Abstract

I explore cross-sectional portfolio performance in a sample containing 324,736 transactions conducted by 16,831 investors at an Internet discount brokerage firm during the period May 1999 to March 2002. On average, investors hold undiversified portfolios, show a strong preference for risk, and trade aggressively. I measure performance using a panel data model, and explain the cross-sectional variation using investors’ turnover, portfolio size and degree of diversification. I find that turnover is harmful to performance due to fees, and is therefore more predominant among investors with small portfolios. It is argued that the degree of diversification is a proxy for investor skill, and it has a separate and distinct positive effect on performance. These findings are helpful in explaining the overall result that investors underperform the market by around 8.5% per year on average.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Anders E.S., 2004. "All Guts, No Glory: Trading and Diversification among Online Investors," SIFR Research Report Series 25, Institute for Financial Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sifrwp:0025
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Massa, Massimo & Simonov, Andrei, 2003. "Reputation and interdealer trading: a microstructure analysis of the Treasury Bond market," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 99-141, April.
    2. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2004. "Characteristics, Contracts, and Actions: Evidence from Venture Capitalist Analyses," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2177-2210, October.
    3. Bortolotti, Bernardo & de Jong, Frank & Nicodano, Giovanna & Schindele, Ibolya, 2007. "Privatization and stock market liquidity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 297-316, February.
    4. Massimo Massa & Andrei Simonov, 2006. "Hedging, Familiarity and Portfolio Choice," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 633-685.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investor behavior; Performance evaluation; Panel data models;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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