The current reading is quite remarkable; one expects such cash levels during market crises, not when indices are near all-time highs. Photograph:  Mary Altaffer/AFP

Stocktake: El-Erian’s timing out; financial illiteracy; investors lose faith in Trump

Going with your gut: “The results of the study indicate the market ‘selects’, Darwinian-style, ‘for traders with good gut feelings’, with those lacking in this department ‘eliminated’ over time.” File photograph: Scott Olson/Reuters

Recent study suggests that traders attuned to physiological signals make more money

“Sterling may well go much lower, but bears should not assume this is a one-way bet.” Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Stocktake: Mixed signs on earnings, betting against fear and greed, and the value of a good name

 Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Those who nip in and out of markets would be wise to not view the recent sterling chaos as an isolated incident

Shoppers on Grafton Street in Dublin: the market bubbles that did not burst are just as important for investors to know about as those that did burst. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Most booms don’t result in busts: a recent Yale study found only one in 10 goes bad

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Stocktake: Rodrigo Duterte not helping markets while active fund managers have bad year

Becoming the 11th GICS sector gives listed real estate additional prestige and prominence. S&P and MSCI, as ‘Financial Times’ columnist John Authers noted recently, “have done the Reits industry a big favour”. Photograph: iStockphoto

With real estate added as a new global index sector, Reits will see more growth

Stock prices change because of supply and demand, and seasoned investors know that most day-to-day action is merely market noise. Photograph: Getty Images

Excitable coverage of financial market movements not a recent development

US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Rate increase would shock markets despite high-profile calls for rise

The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a 16 per cent peak-to-trough decline following the 9/11 attacks. Photograph: Sean Adair/Reuters

Markets show resilience as terrorist attacks are increasingly priced into stocks

Apple’s iPhone 7: “Changes are small and incremental rather than revolutionary.” Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Apple shares look fragile, stuck in a downtrend since April 2015

Investors are debating the Sanford Bernstein report which warns that the growth of index funds may distort markets, but such conc(...)

Apple’s  “Think Different” ad in the 1990s associated the company with ‘round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently’.

Also: Europe’s indices hit bottom; is September the cruellest month? dullish markets

Sterling enjoyed a decent bounce last week, following better-than-expected economic data. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Overconfidence in CEOs not always bad and it’s too early to know if pound has bottomed

Stay or go? Funds characterised both by high active share and patience (defined as holding positions for at least two years) have significantly outperformed over the last 26 years. Photograph: Bernd Kammerer/AP Photo

Research suggests investors can profit by buying funds that go against the grain

Market boom: it’s quite common for multiple indices to hit new highs at the same time. Photograph: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg

The S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq recently hit all-time highs on the same day, but can the rally last?

 George Soros: recent filings show that he and David Einhorn had reduced their stakes in Apple. Photograph: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Fund managers still cautious, changes at Apple, and was Bill Miller just lucky?

Brexit: July’s half-hearted sterling rebound always resembled a dead cat bounce. Photograph: Thinkstock

Also Marc ‘Dr Doom’ Faber predicts doom again this year; the Zika virus and investors

Warren Buffett (speaking for the Hillary Clinton campaign): like other legendary fund managers, he has had his bad years along with the good. Photograph: Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

It’s very difficult to beat the stock market as even top fund managers have shown

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump: envisages a market apocalypse . Photograph:  Sarah Rice/Getty Images

US presidential candidate warns investors ‘very scary scenarios’ lie ahead

Researchers have found high-profile indices tend to be restrained by psychologically important levels such as multiples of 100 or 1,000. Photograph: Steven Saphore/Reuters

Many investors are influenced by the psychology of stock price levels

Marissa Mayer: set to pocket more than $200 million by the time she walks away from Yahoo. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Chief executive’s package has been met with incredulity, given her failure to turn around the company

The current bull market is more than seven years old, making it the second-longest rally in history.

Lessons of history undermine bearish arguments about high-flying stocks

Seizing the moment: analysis shows stock market reaction to world events is hard to predict. The general logic is that it is best to hold a diversified portfolio. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

The stock market moves in strange and counterintuitive ways. Predicting these to turn a profit is far from easy

An American flag flying outside the New York Stock Exchange. Earnings are forecast to decline by 5.4 per cent, but the true figures are unlikely to be that bad.  Photograph: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg

As US indices hit their first all-time high in more than a year, investors hope a rebound in corporate profits is, finally, in si(...)

Forecasts in financial markets are heavy on caveats and surprises can happen

However, market prices still ‘trounce’ polls and pundits in forecasting events

Sterling has plunged by more than 20 US cents since hitting $1.50 on June 23rd. How low can the pound go?

Andrea Leadsom downplays Brexit fallout, correlations spike, insiders buy shares

On the day following the UK vote, stocks fell $2.08 trillion. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Selling up after a major market shock is seldom a good idea

Brexit: could exercise investors in the months ahead. Studies show social and political values affect people’s investments in various ways. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

People’s political views shape their investment outlook, but personal bias can prove costly

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Photograph: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

A look around the world’s markets

A bronze of a bull fighting with a bear is displayed at the Museum of American Finance on Wall St in New York City. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Influential investors are warning of trouble, but following them may unwise

A specialist trader works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Whether the Leave or Remain sides win, it’s going to be a bumpy journey

Professional money managers typically keep cash allocations of roughly 3 to 5 per cent – way lower than ordinary investors. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

Retail investors have kept cash allocations high even though shares tend to trounce cash long term

George Soros: a flexible trader, unafraid to make market U-turns. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

History indicates even the fabled investor is not omniscient

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange: bull and bear market cycles can be difficult to reliably identify. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Stocks had ‘only’ fallen by 15% at February’s market bottom, but this has felt like a bear market for many investors

Anti-Brexit supporters dressed as bananas protest in England as Boris Johnson MP was addressing supporters during a Vote Leave rally. (Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The chances of Brexit as short sellers spook executives

Gold has been the second-best-performing precious metal this year. Photograph: Sebastian Derungs/AFP/Getty Images

Gold is one of the best-performing assets of 2016, but its reputation may be overstated

New York Stock Exchange: Goldman says a variety of risks could catalyse a 5-10 per cent drawdown in the coming months. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Markets may be about to get nervier, Goldman Sachs has warned

In one study, just over half of companies examined had no women in obvious leadership positions

Firms led by women appear to a sounder investment

Hedge funds will never be 100 per cent exposed to equities so some underperformance is inevitable in a long bull market. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The funds are coming under scrutiny and even Warren Buffett has scoffed at their ‘unbelievable’ fee structure

Crude oil: topped $46 last week

Jeremy Grantham’s mea culpa, low volatility, crude predictions, in the red

Bullish or bearish? US and European equity markets have enjoyed stellar returns over the last 30 years, with both markets delivering annualised real returns of 7.9 per cent which is well above historical norms

Next 20 years expected to be much tougher after three fortuitous decades

Jeremy Grantham

Investment decisions questioned, from predictions to deposit-free mortgages

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Investors are living through the second-longest bull market in US history but the scars left by the global financial crisis are un(...)

The seven-year bull market has hung on to become the second-longest rally in S&P 500 history

Bull market may continue; gains for emerging markets; beware round figures

RBS analyst Andrew Roberts, who instructed clients to “sell everything” in January

Wrong-footed investors carp as S&P 500 hit fresh all-time highs

BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley:  BP shareholders voted on April 14 to oppose his  $20 million pay package for 2015, the rare revolt reflecting outrage after the British oil and gas company recorded its biggest annual loss. Photograph: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files

Shareholders are rejecting proposals to ramp up CEOs’ rewards

Robert Shiller, professor of economics at Yale University. Photograph: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A new Yale study shows that both institutions and individuals regularly overestimate the likelihood of market meltdowns

Prime Minister David Cameron  at the launch of the ‘Brighter Future In’ campaign bus at Exeter University in Devon, after he said he will “make no apology” for spending taxpayers’ money on a pro-EU publicity drive ahead of the referendum on Britain’s future membership.  Photograph: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

Investors sceptical of low-conviction rally

New York Stock Exchange: many studies confirm that stock markets are not the preserve of hard-headed financial types. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Trading for the sake of trading tends not to be a profitable endeavour

Pfizer chief executive Ian Read: “This deal is not just about tax benefits.” Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Impact on share prices of uncertainty over UK’s EU future difficult to calculate

Oil: on the rebound? Photograph:  EPA/STEFAN SAUER

Crucial earnings season ahead and European stocks finally outperform the US

Market ups and downs: a focus on short-term performance means money managers are engaging in activity that is causing bubbles and crashes

Is short-termism and a slavish preoccupation with benchmarks by institutional investors hurting markets?

Inside the Federal Reserve  in Washington. Photograph:  EPA/SHAWN THEW

A look around the world’s stock markets

Up and down: investment consultants admit past performance continues to be the most important criterion for selecting managers. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Replacing best-performing managers with the poorest performers might just deliver the goods for investors

Limiting the downside doesn’t mean investors can’t enjoy decent upside, according to David Conlon of Merrion Investment Managers

The relative minnow has more than tripled in value since 2007

A bronze “Charging Bull” statue in New York’s financial district. Photograph:  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Ireland is worst for closet trackers and poorer fund managers do better

A specialist trader works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Barclays Equity Gilt Study makes clear that stocks are the best long-term bet

London Stock Exchange: British stocks look cheap, says JP Morgan.  Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Research indicates there is value to be had in many international markets, but the same cannot be said of Ireland

A specialist trader works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Short selling on the rise, volatility and low returns and running out of ‘ammunition’

Rain storm outside the New York Stock Exchange: declines are part of investing in stocks. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Everyone – even a clairvoyant God who continually picks the top-performing stocks – suffers during bear markets

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Analysing 2016’s rough start, learning to love lower prices and distorting earnings

The problem for hedge funds is that there are now “fewer traders at the poker table to play against”. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Index trackers make it harder for hedge funds and ordinary investors to outperform

A man walks past an electric quotation board flashing the Nikkei key stock index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Photograph: Getty Images

A stampede out of stocks can indicate the kind of panic associated with market bottoms

NYSE traders: Research suggests a strong link between overconfidence and overtrading. Photograph:  Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Research shows informed people may think they may know more than they do

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: EPA/Justin Lane

The top 20 earned $15 billion last year; the rest of the industry lost $99 billion

 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: EPA/Justin Lane

Declining stocks are part and parcel of market reality. What lessons can we learn?

The bull and bear statues outside the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

Stocks have endured a torrid start to 2016, fuelling talk that the seven-year bull market is on its last legs, but market indicato(...)

“Apple may well prove a value trap – who knows? – but the notion ‘value stocks in tech just do not work’ is pure fiction.” Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Apple going cheap, January lows and judging the rest of the year on the first week

Wall Street strategists are as likely to underestimate bull markets as they are to overestimate bear markets. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

There’s little reason to have faith in market strategists’ 2016 predictions

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett: shares in Berkshire Hathaway fell 11 per cent last year. Photograph: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Warren Buffett’s bad year, hometown bias and analysts still ‘optimistically wrong’

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade recently.  Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Selling too early, a fun Christmas letter and yes, there is such a thing as a Santa rally

A specialist trader looks at his screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Mergers and acquisitions, which totalled $4.6tn in 2015, can be indicative of froth

A trader looks at his screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The Fed is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years

Workers at an Amazon warehouse: the company, one of the so-called four ‘fang stocks’, is a major reason why the S&P 500 was in the black in 2015.  Photograph: REUTERS/Fred Greaves

Concern is growing that a handful of stocks are keeping the S&P 500 afloat

A look around the world’s financial markets

Actual investor returns, one study concluded, are “systematically lower than buy-and-hold returns for nearly all international stock markets”.   Photograph:  Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Research indicates closing the behaviour gap – the tendency for investors to underperform the funds they are invested in – is cruc(...)

Janet Yellen, chairman of the US Federal Reserve: Recent strong jobs numbers mean a December rate hike now looks a safe bet. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Farewell to the Brics, morality and the hedge fund manager and exploiting inattention

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange: even novice investors can grasp the simple logic underpinning the case for diversification. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The level of risk and reward you experience is a function of portfolio scale and variety

Fed chairman Janet Yellen: last week’s unexpectedly hawkish  message means a December hike is now seen as a 50/50 bet. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Corrections are unavoidable and using Twitter as an investment guide

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange: between 1968 and 1994, value stocks consistently and easily beat growth stocks in the US. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Glamour stocks have outperformed them in recent years but the cycle may be turning

Upbeat investors shrug off weak data

‘Valuations aside, market history does not suggest rising rates need prove disastrous for stocks.’ photograph: getty

History indicates stocks tend not to be impacted until late in the rate-hiking cycle, but analysts caution the current monetary en(...)

A Specialist Trader looks at his screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A look around the world’s stock markets

Correlations always spike in times of perceived crisis

A look around the world’s stock markets

Winners and losers: “The more often people look at their portfolios, the less willing they will be to take on risk, because if you look at it more often, you will experience more lossesm” says Richard Thaler. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Richard Thaler’s book ‘Misbehaving’ is a must-read for investors and non-investors

The odds of a US Fed rate increase hit 54 per cent in early August before plunging to 24 per cent three weeks later, following the sudden upsurge in volatility. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

Fed can show it is not governed by stock markets – but it’d be shocking if it did

 The New York Stock Exchange:  last Tuesday, 499 S&P 500 stocks declined, the second-highest reading since 1996. Photograph: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Recent bearishness resembles levels seen near the bottom of past corrections

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