Download the 2012 DALBAR Study
A Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior


Why should you download my favorite annual study?

It calculates the average rate of return for the last 1, 5, 10, and 20 years for the S&P 500, fixed income products, asset allocation portfolios, the benchmark bond index, and inflation.
It calculates what the "average investor" returned over the same time periods (and it's nowhere close to what the equity investments returned)
It calculates the retention rate of mutual funds and bonds (how long the are held before being sold)
It illustrates how often the average investor guessed right or wrong each year over the last twenty years
The DALBAR study is the most facinating (18 pages) report I will read in 2012 and I suggest that every financial planner and insurance advisor read it.


The above is one chart from the DALBAR study. The red bars have numbers above each one. The numbers represent in each year the percentage of investors who guessed right when deciding to sell stocks.

You'll notice in years when the stock marke is crashing (2000-2002 and 2007-2008), the typcal investor does NOT guess correctly over 50% of the time.

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