The one still amazing metric about this bull market in the SP 500 is that – according to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), the percentage bullish within their survey base has remained under 50% for 113 straight weeks. (Source Bespoke, 3/2/17)
That is the one metric about this bull market that – to me anyway – sticks out like a sore thumb.
To be fair, there are other sentiment survey’s that reflect more bullishness and, the survey of news letter writers is now at very bullish levels. Maybe AAII data has lost its usefulness. I remember reading AAII newsletters in the mid 1980’s, so the survey and the organization has certainly stood the test of time.
The other stat that is surprising is equity mutual fund inflows, which have only recently turned positive and had outflows in 2016, a year where the SP 500 returned 12%.
The mutual fund slows could reflect the structural changes in the market, i.e. preferences for ETF’s over funds, etc. but the fact that almost 8 years into a bull market these metrics remain this depressed is quite striking.
Just thinking out loud. Let me hear your counter-arguments.
Thanks for reading.