Nicholas Colas, Chief Market Strategist at Convergex, tackles the current sentiment situation among retail (individual) investors and finds interest in the market rising along with prices, as you might expect:
#1 – Google Search Trends (BULLISH). Alexa won’t help you invest, but Google will at least point you in the right direction for more information. Google Trends – the search engine’s analytical tool that shows how many users key in a specific search – reveals the following:
Searches for “Buy Stock” are at record levels for the period of 2010 – present among US users. Funny enough, so is the search term “Sell stocks”, but the interest in buying outpaces that for selling by almost 9:1.
Searches for “ETFs” are not quite at record highs for the current decade, but they are higher than all but 3 months since 2010.
Searches for “Mutual fund” are at highs not seen since 2011, and actually outnumber ETFs by 2 ½ to 1.
Searches for 401K hit a post-Crisis high in January.
Josh here – To me, this sort of data is more interesting than survey data because it documents the behavior of the masses as opposed to asking them questions about how they think they might behave. People are terrible at forecasting their own future actions, so asking them if they will buy or sell or go shopping or remodel their home is not quite as valuable as watching them actually do it.
Alexa… Should I Buy Stocks?
Convergex Market Commentary – March 19th, 2017