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Can Individual Investors Beat the Market?

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • JOSHUA D. COVAL & David Hirshleifer & TYLER G. SHUMWAY, 2004. "Can Individual Investors Beat the Market?," Finance 0412005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0412005
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45. PDF
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/fin/papers/0412/0412005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    8. David Hirshleifer, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1533-1597, August.
    9. KENT D. DANIEL & David Hirshleifer & AVANIDHAR SUBRAHMANYAM, 2004. "A Theory of Overconfidence, Self-Attribution, and Security Market Under- and Over-reactions," Finance 0412006, EconWPA.
    10. Klaas Baks & Andrew Metrick & Jessica Wachter, 1999. "Bayesian Performance Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 7069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Brown, Stephen J, et al, 1992. "Survivorship Bias in Performance Studies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(4), pages 553-580.
    12. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolosi, Gina & Peng, Liang & Zhu, Ning, 2009. "Do individual investors learn from their trading experience?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 317-336, May.
    2. Ivković, Zoran & Sialm, Clemens & Weisbenner, Scott, 2008. "Portfolio Concentration and the Performance of Individual Investors," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 613-655, September.
    3. Glaser, Markus & Weber, Martin, 2009. "Which past returns affect trading volume?," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, February.
    4. repec:wsi:afexxx:v:09:y:2014:i:01:n:s201049521450002x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Hirshleifer & James N. Myers & Linda A. Myers & Siew Hong Teoh, 2004. "Do Individual Investors Drive Post-Earnings Announcement Drift? Direct Evidence from Personal Trades," Finance 0412003, EconWPA.
    6. HAMADI, Malika & RENGIFO, Erick & SALZMAN, Diego, 2005. "Illusionary finance and trading behavior," CORE Discussion Papers 2005004, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Andersson, Patric, 2004. "How well do financial experts perform? A review of empirical research on performance of analysts, day-traders, forecasters, fund managers, investors, and stockbrokers," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration 2004:9, Stockholm School of Economics.
    8. Malika, HAMADI & Erick, RENGIFO & Diego SALZMAN, 2004. "Illusionary Finance and Trading Behavior," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005012, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques, revised 15 Jan 2005.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Individual Investors; Market Efficiency; Performance Persistence;

    JEL classification:

    • G - Financial Economics

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