IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/11243.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fear and Greed in Financial Markets: A Clinical Study of Day-Traders

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew W. Lo
  • Dmitry V. Repin
  • Brett N. Steenbarger

Abstract

We investigate several possible links between psychological factors and trading performance in a sample of 80 anonymous day-traders. Using daily emotional-state surveys over a five-week period as well as personality inventory surveys, we construct measures of personality traits and emotional states for each subject and correlate these measures with daily normalized profits-and-losses records. We find that subjects whose emotional reaction to monetary gains and losses was more intense on both the positive and negative side exhibited significantly worse trading performance. Psychological traits derived from a standardized personality inventory survey do not reveal any specific "trader personality profile", raising the possibility that trading skills may not necessarily be innate, and that different personality types may be able to perform trading functions equally well after proper instruction and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew W. Lo & Dmitry V. Repin & Brett N. Steenbarger, 2005. "Fear and Greed in Financial Markets: A Clinical Study of Day-Traders," NBER Working Papers 11243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11243
    Note: AP
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11243.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, June.
    2. Andrew W. Lo & Dmitry V. Repin & Brett N. Steenbarger, 2005. "Fear and Greed in Financial Markets: A Clinical Study of Day-Traders," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 352-359, May.
    3. Mark J. Kamstra & Lisa A. Kramer & Maurice D. Levi, 2003. "Winter Blues: A SAD Stock Market Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 324-343, March.
    4. Colin Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. "Neuroeconomics: How neuroscience can inform economics," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000484, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
    6. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
    7. Isen, Alice M. & Geva, Nehemia, 1987. "The influence of positive affect on acceptable level of risk: The person with a large canoe has a large worry," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 145-154, April.
    8. Mittal, Vikas & Ross, William T., 1998. "The Impact of Positive and Negative Affect and Issue Framing on Issue Interpretation and Risk Taking," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 298-324, December.
    9. Anya Krivelyova & Cesare Robotti, 2003. "Playing the field: Geomagnetic storms and international stock markets," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    10. Brandstatter, Hermann & Guth, Werner, 2000. "A psychological approach to individual differences in intertemporal consumption patterns," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 465-479, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11243. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.