Stocktake: Retail investors more convinced of market bubble

Bullish outlook remains despite assessment of stock value

Fund managers are bullish but not euphoric – that’s the takeaway from Bank of America’s (BofA) latest fund manager survey.

Contrarians will be concerned that the percentage of managers overweighting stocks remains close to all-time highs. So too is the number of managers taking above-average levels of risk, prompting BofA's Michael Hartnett to caution that positioning is "peaking".

That said, cash levels have risen over the last month and are in neutral territory. BofA’s Bull & Bear Indicator has fallen slightly to 7.1 and remains below the 8.0 level that triggers a sell signal. Only 7 per cent think stocks are in a bubble.

Retail investors think differently, according to an E-Trade survey which finds 69 per cent think stocks are “fully or somewhat” in a bubble. Ironically, bullish sentiment has hit pre-pandemic highs, suggesting ordinary investors aren’t worried by market bubbles – they’re excited.