Why Do Retail Investors Ignore Accounting Information?

Prior research finds that individual (retail) investors often fail to use accounting information when making stock trading decisions. Instead, many individuals underperform by trading on attention-grabbing technical trends such as high past stock returns.

A number of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations are designed to help individual investors make better trading decisions by reducing their costs of using accounting information. For example, part of the SEC’s motivation for recent regulations on hyperlinking and XBRL was to aid individuals by reducing their costs of monitoring and accessing firms’ accounting reports. In a recent study, we investigate why many individual investors … Read more