This week’s Sentiment Survey special question asked AAII members how the performance of the stock market over the first half of the year compares to their expectations. Slightly more than one out of three respondents said the returns matched their expectations. A nearly even number of respondents said the returns exceeded their expectations (20%) or were below their expectations (21%). About 5% of respondents described the market as being more volatile than they expected. Respondents (especially those who described returns as matching their expectations) pointed to the sideways/flat movement of stock prices, slow economic growth, interest rates and their personal holdings as the reasons why.
Nearly 14% of respondents mentioned Brexit specifically. Several of these respondents said Brexit worsened performance relative to their expectations, with some saying the markets had been exceeding or matching their expectations prior to last week’s vote.
When we asked members in late December about the how the S&P 500 would perform this year, slightly more than 20% of respondents forecast an increase of less than 5%, 31% predicted gains of between 5% and 10%, and about 13% called for a decline of between 5% and 15%.
Here is a sampling of the responses:
- “About what I expected in a no-growth environment.”
- “Performance has been ‘roller-coaster-like’ as expected.”
- “Disappointing; had hoped for small gains.”
- “Excluding the British vote reaction, the market has been about what I expected.”
- “Performance has been worse. The market continues to overreact to short-term issues.”
- “Surprisingly better than I expected. Continuing low interest rates are forcing people to buy into stocks.”
Want to weigh in? Take the survey yourself and see results online at http://www.aaii.com/sentimentsurvey.
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