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Can Individual Investors Beat the Market?

  • JOSHUA D. COVAL

    (Harvard University - Finance Unit)

  • David Hirshleifer

    (Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, Department of Finance)

  • TYLER G. SHUMWAY

    (University of Michigan)

We document strong persistence in the performance of trades of individual investors. Investors classified in the top 10 percent place other trades that on average earn excess returns of 15 basis points per day. A rolling-forward strategy of going long firms purchased by previously successful investors and shorting firms purchased by previously unsuccessful investors results in excess returns of 5 basis points per day. These returns are not confined to small stocks nor to stocks in which the investors are likely to have inside information. Our results suggest that skillful individual investors exploit market inefficiencies to earn abnormal profits, above and beyond any profits available from well-known strategies based upon size, value, or momentum.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/fin/papers/0412/0412005.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 0412005.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 04 Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0412005
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45. PDF
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Klaas Baks & Andrew Metrick & Jessica Wachter, . "Should Investors Avoid All Actively Managed Mutual Funds? A Study in Bayesian Performance Evaluation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 18-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  2. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
  3. Lehmann, Bruce N & Modest, David M, 1987. " Mutual Fund Performance Evaluation: A Comparison of Benchmarks and Benchmark Comparisons," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(2), pages 233-65, June.
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  7. Klaas Baks & Andrew Metrick & Jessica Wachter, 1999. "Bayesian Performance Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 7069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Hirshleifer, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1533-1597, 08.
  9. Bruce N. Lehmann & David M. Modest, 1985. "Mutual Fund Performance Evaluation: A Comparison of Benchmarks and Benchmark Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 1721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  11. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Are Some Mutual Fund Managers Better Than Others? Cross-Sectional Patterns in Behavior and Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 875-899, 06.
  12. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  13. KENT D. DANIEL & David Hirshleifer & AVANIDHAR SUBRAHMANYAM, 2004. "A Theory of Overconfidence, Self-Attribution, and Security Market Under- and Over-reactions," Finance 0412006, EconWPA.
  14. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2000. "Trading Is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 773-806, 04.
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