Money Anxiety Theory - a Predictor of Equity’s Performance

23 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2024

Date Written: March 1, 2024


An established behavioral finance predictor, the Money Anxiety Index (MAI), identifies a portfolio of ETFs that outperforms the market in long and short positions. The analysis shows that a portfolio of the top five ETFs, with the strongest and most significant inverse or positive relations to the Money Anxiety Index, outperforms the market (S&P 500) in long and short positions for 5, 3 and 1-year durations. Moreover, the analysis shows that the control variable, risk (Beta), in and of itself, does not explain changes in the performance of the examined ETFs. The study was conducted during a highly volatile market, 2018-2023 showing that the hypotheses of this study are valid during bull or bear markets.

Keywords: Financial Economics, Capital Markets, Financial Institutions, Money Anxiety

JEL Classification: G11, C53, D91

Suggested Citation

Geller, Dan, Money Anxiety Theory - a Predictor of Equity’s Performance (March 1, 2024). Available at SSRN: or

Dan Geller (Contact Author)

Analyticom Behavioral Finance ( email )

United States

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