An overriding market meme since the beginning of 2013 is we are in the midst of the most hated bull market in history.
Some of this idea can be attributed to investors not participating in this rally. Yesterday, we looked at why volatility and volume have been so low.
Another reason is that even those who have been invested have just been wrong about the market.
This chart from Bank of America Merrill Lynch shows equity client flows — which includes the firm’s hedge fund, institutional, and private clients — over the last six years.
In the last 18 months as the S&P 500 has run to record highs, BAML’s clients have often been net sellers of stocks.
And year-to-date, BAML’s clients have remained net sellers of stocks, with only companies buying back shares serving as net buyers of stock.
Last week we discussed the role that buybacks have been playing in the market.
These charts bring that point home.