Small investors continue to increase their allocation towards equities according to the most recent AAII survey. Small investors increased their allocation to equities from 59% to 61% over the last month. Bond exposure fell 2% to 20% while cash moved higher by 1% to 19%. This was the third straight month of increased exposure to equities.
It is interesting to note that we saw decreases in institutional exposure last month. Though small investors have grown increasingly bold in recent months it is important to note that the current levels are still far from the highs seen at the peaks of the prior two bull markets. AAII notes that current bond allocations are particularly high as investors have slowly reallocated into bonds from cash following the crisis. The full-blown bullish move from bonds to stocks could still be in the process of occurring:
“Individual investors have become more optimistic about the stock market, as is evident in our weekly Sentiment Survey. The percentage of investors describing themselves as bullish, meaning they expect stocks to rise over the next six months, was above the historical average of 39% during four out of the past five weeks.
At the same time, the optimism is cautious, which explains the comparatively high allocation to fixed income. Bond allocations have now stayed above their historical average of 15% for 11 consecutive months.”