Riding the Bubble? Chasing Returns into Illiquid Assets
Household investors chase stock market returns. Surveys suggest that households intend to "ride the bubble" by buying stocks early in a boom and selling stocks early in a bust. This implies that households use only liquid assets to chase returns. I test this prediction using inflows to fixed annuities---illiquid tax-preferred assets that lock wealth out of the stock market for five to ten years. I find that fixed annuity inflows spike after poor stock market returns, inconsistent with ride-the-bubble intentions and instead indicating buy-and-hold intentions. The results are consistent with households extrapolating recent stock market returns into the long run.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20360