Investor Happiness

44 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2013 Last revised: 18 Jun 2015

See all articles by Christoph Merkle

Christoph Merkle

Aarhus University

Daniel P. Egan; Barclays Wealth

Greg B Davies

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Date Written: January 22, 2014


We study investor happiness in a panel survey of brokerage clients at a UK bank. When investors anticipate future happiness, they set their aspirations according to personal portfolio risk, objectives, investment horizon, con dence, and other individual characteristics. They are accurate in their forecasts, only rarely are investors unhappy with outcomes they predicted they would be happy with, and vice versa. However, determinants of experienced happiness only partially correspond to the ones found for anticipated happiness. In particular, relative performance plays an important role investors do not anticipate. Having outperformed other people contributes to investor happiness, as does active trading success.

Keywords: Happiness, Expectation, Experience, Individual Investors

JEL Classification: G02, G11

Suggested Citation

Merkle, Christoph and Egan, Daniel P. and Davies, Greg B, Investor Happiness (January 22, 2014). Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 49, pp. 167-186, 2015, Available at SSRN: or

Christoph Merkle (Contact Author)

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000


Daniel P. Egan ( email )

61 West 23rd St
New York, NY 10009
United States
3479314897 (Phone)

Barclays Wealth ( email )

1, Churchill Place
London, London E14 5Hp
United Kingdom

Greg B Davies

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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