Investors are really down on their prospects for making money right now.
According to the American Association of Individual Investors, sentiment among market participants hasn’t been this bad in years as fear is the dominant theme in markets right now.
And Tobias Levkovich at Citi has an interesting theory as to why: everything investors thought would happen this year has basically gone the other way.
“It is remarkable to us to look at the performance data thus far in 2016, especially when one considers the expectations from clients entering the year,” Levkovich wrote in a recent note. “In these contexts, it is not at all shocking to comprehend the level of consternation about portfolio positioning.”
Levkovich highlighted the following chart comparing certain sectors’ performance this year against investor predictions from a client survey in December.
“The late December client poll showed investors believing in upside opportunity for the IT and Financials sectors with Utilities being the most unloved area,” Levkovich wrote.
“Yet, Utilities have been the stalwarts six weeks into the year while Financials have been hammered and tech leaders have been hit hard, underscoring the level of portfolio pain. Not surprisingly, sentiment readings are quite poor.”
Levkovich’s point: it’s easy to be bearish when you get things so wrong.
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