Everyone wants to be a contrarian nowadays; they make a big deal out of every indicator that validates their thesis. Going against the crowd just to go against it is not contrarian, I explained that here in a recent post-The Crowd Is Right Within A Trend, Wrong At Turning Points.
The American Association Of Individual Investors is a sentiment indicator that has been getting a ton of press lately. It measures the percentage of individual investors who are bullish, bearish, and neutral on the stock market for the next six months. Individuals are polled weekly. The survey consists of normally 100-350 individuals, this is a tiny sample. But more importantly what these individuals are saying is not what they are doing. The most recent poll showed 33.3% were bullish, 37.6% neutral and 29.1% were bearish.
When the members were asked if the during the recent market pullback, did they pull any money from the market, here’s what they said;
Be careful what you are basing your contrarian thesis on.