City Research Online

The meerkat effect: Personality and market returns affect investors' portfolio monitoring behaviour

Gherzi, S., Egan, D., Stewart, N. , Haisley, E. & Ayton, P. (2014). The meerkat effect: Personality and market returns affect investors' portfolio monitoring behaviour. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 107(Part B), pp. 512-526. doi: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.07.013


Karlsson, Loewenstein and Seppi (2009) found that, following market downswings, investors are less likely to login to monitor their retirement portfolios. They concluded that, rather like (apocryphal) ostriches sticking their heads in the sand, investors avoid unpleasant information by reducing portfolio monitoring in response to news of negative market movement. We apply generalised non-linear mixed effects models to test for this selective information monitoring at an individual level in a new sample of active online investors. We see different behaviour in this new sample. We find that investors increase their portfolio monitoring following both positive and daily negative market returns, behaving more like hyper-vigilant meerkats than head-in-the-sand ostriches. This pattern persists for logins not resulting in trades and weekend logins when markets are closed. Moreover, an investor personality trait - neuroticism - moderates the pattern of portfolio monitoring suggesting that market - driven variation in portfolio monitoring is attributable to psychological factors.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Behavioural finance; Individual investors; Selective attention; Personality; Investment decisions; Ostrich effect
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0.

Download (655kB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login