Investor Sentiment and Asset Valuation
39 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2001
Date Written: November 19, 2001
The link between asset valuations and investor sentiment is the subject of considerable debate in the profession. We address this question by examining how survey data on investor sentiment relates to i) long-horizon returns, and ii) asset valuations. If excessive optimism drives prices above intrinsic values, periods of high sentiment should be followed by low returns as market prices revert to fundamental values. We find this to be the case for the overall stock market at horizons of two to three years. The relation is strongest for large-capitalization, low book-to-market (growth) portfolios. We also examine the relation between sentiment levels and deviations from intrinsic value. Using errors from an independent pricing model, we find sentiment is positively related to valuation errors using a variety of tests. All of our results are robust to the inclusion of other factors that have been shown to forecast stock returns, including past returns.
JEL Classification: G12
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