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Nearly Half of Investors Were Too Optimistic About the Market in January

This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members how the stock market’s performance during the first half of the year compared to what their expectations were back in January. Approximately 45% of respondents describe returns as being worse than expected. Some of these respondents describe stocks as performing “a bit worse” than they had anticipated. Three out of 10 respondents (30%) describe returns as matching expectations. Slightly more than 8% think the market performed better than expected, while 4% say the market was more volatile than they had anticipated.

Here is a sampling of the responses:

  • “My expectations were, as were many others’, way too optimistic at the beginning of the year.”
  • “It’s been choppier than I expected.”
  • “A little disappointing.”
  • “Close to what I expected, which was greater volatility and so-so performance. Tariffs are a big concern now.”
  • “It has done better than expected.”

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