Is equity sentiment really overbullish?

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Sentiment indicators from the AAII (individual investors) and Investors Intelligence (newsletter writers) indicate that stock market sentiment is at historically high levels, and has been for a while. However, whenever I discuss stock markets with people – ranging from private investors to institutions to journalists – most of them seem to be more concerned about a looming correction in the near term than being bullish. Maybe it is just a question of communicating with different people from those participating in the surveys, but anecdotally I do not observe particularly bullish sentiment.

Let’s put this to the test and do a snap poll among the readers of Investment Postcards to determine their equity sentiment. I have kept this very simple and am following the AAII format by giving only three choices on a six-month view: bullish, neutral or bearish. I realize this is quite unscientific but it will make for direct comparison with the AAII results and that is what I would like to test. Just play along and click the appropriate button on the poll image below. The poll will run until 22:00 EST on Saturday, January 16, 2011, after which the results will be reported on the blog.

Please also post any interesting ideas or links that you would like to share with the Investment Postcards community in the comments section.

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