(Un)skilled Leveraged Trading of Retail Investors
33 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2013 Last revised: 14 Oct 2013
Date Written: February 7, 2013
We study the trading behavior of retail investors in the market of leveraged bank-issued retail derivatives designed to trade excessively, speculate and gamble on ongoing trends and market movements. We analyze whether retail investors have private information and benefit disproportionately or whether they gamble. We answer this question along three dimensions: (i) profitability, (ii) news trading, and (iii) sensitivity to implicit trading costs. We distinguish derivatives by the type of underlying (index vs. individual stocks). We find that raw returns are negative for derivatives with stock as underlying, and only partially positive for those with index as underlying. Nevertheless, risk-adjusted returns show a poor performance with sharpe ratios below one. We show that retail investors are attracted by news, but do not have private information prior to news events. Finally, we categorize investors according to their sensitivity to implicit trading costs. We find that non-sensitive investors perform worse than sensitive investors.
Keywords: Retail Investors, Gambling, Speculation, Implicit Trading Costs, Option Pricing, Bank-issued Derivatives
JEL Classification: G10, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation