Does It Pay to Pay Attention?

82 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2016 Last revised: 3 Jan 2021

See all articles by Antonio Gargano

Antonio Gargano

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Alberto G. Rossi

Georgetown University

Date Written: November 26, 2017


We employ a novel brokerage account dataset to investigate which individual investors are the most attentive, how investors allocate their attention, and the relation between investor attention and performance. Attention is positively related to investment performance, both at the portfolio return level and the individual trades level. We provide evidence that the superior performance of high- attention investors arises because they purchase attention-grabbing stocks whose positive performance persists for up to six months. Finally, we show that paying attention is particularly profitable when trading stocks with high uncertainty, but for which a lot of public information is available.

Keywords: investor attention, brokerage account, attention allocation

JEL Classification: D14, G02, G10, G11

Suggested Citation

Gargano, Antonio and Rossi, Alberto G., Does It Pay to Pay Attention? (November 26, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Antonio Gargano

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States

Alberto G. Rossi (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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