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Using fear to guide smart investments
Date:6/30/2011

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The researchers looked at 50 years worth of information taken from 10 stock markets in seven different countries to analyse fear volatility, determined by time variations in the volatility. What emerged was a strong correlation between the level of volatility and price variations in the market. A higher level of volatility represents bigger fear, says Dr. Shapira, and less volatility, less fear.

Mastering fear of the market

The researchers believe that understanding how human behavior impacts the stock market will help investors conquer their fear of an unpredictable market. "People usually look at volatility as a danger. It makes the market risky," says Prof. Shapira.

However, being able to analyse the variations in market volatility can help redefine risk parameters and this includes the factors that make people fearful, adds Prof. Ben-Jacobs. Fear can be systematically measured by looking at changes in volatility.

Prof. Ben-Jacobs suggests that investors can enrich their portfolios with stocks whose volatility behaves in different ways. A portfolio should include pairs of stocks with negative return correlations and similar high or low levels of volatility, as well as pairs of stocks with positive return correlations, but varying levels of high and low volatility. It should also include stocks with both rapid and slow changes in volatility, he suggests. When you assume there is a hidden order to the chaos, you can also estimate or predict with some level of certainty what the coming phases of volatility will bring.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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