I don't know much about social science or scientists except for the Charles Murray that I have read, which probably disqualifies me right there.
There is also a Pew Research demographer on Twitter named Conrad Hackett (with the most fitting last name ever). I like infographics, so I check in with him sometimes.
Social science, demography. I think people should spend time thinking about these disciplines and applying them to the market.
Like, what if you could send out a survey to people, asking if they held GDX. Then, you could ask all kinds of interesting follow-up questions. Do you listen to Alex Jones? How many fire extinguishers do you have? Etc. You could probably find out some pretty interesting stuff. Like, when you look at a chart of GDX or GDXSO you know that people own these things, but you don't know the kinds of people that own these things.
Wouldn't that be super useful information?
We do this in the political sphere. We have the Trump voter narrowed down to a gnat's ass. But what about markets? What kind of person owns TSLA? What kind of person owns GE? What kind of person owns ANF or whatever? What if you could make generalizations about these people? Wouldn't it help you make a better-informed decision about whether to own the stock or not?
It might actually have you make worse decisions. Better informed, but worse.
Like, pretend that you are conservative and you find out that TSLA shareholders are liberal. You will think to yourself, "they are all wrong," and you will double down on your short. Which could be costly. Like I said, a better- informed, but worse decision.
But it is true that different people buy different kinds of things. It takes a certain kind of person to get into fluffy growth stocks, especially AMZN. Think of the kind of person that buys AMZN. Then think of the person that buys PHYS. I bet the intersection of the AMZN and PHYS Venn Diagram is the null set.
Most people who like cats do not also like monster trucks. Good information.
I'm actually half-serious. Wouldn't it be fun to start up a research institute on this kind of stuff? Like I said, if they have it for politics, why not markets? People would definitely pay for this information, for sure. Like, if you knew that alltranches were sitting in Dutch pension funds or wherever you'd probably be more inclined to bet against the housing market.
There is no other reason that people look at the Page 1 holders of a stock. They want to see how smart everyone is.
My wife is texting me cat pictures. I have never been to a monster truck rally. Not a coincidence.
Mod Note (Andy): This post is a reprint from the March 29th edition of Jared's Daily Dirtnap Newsletter. If you'd like to read more, WSO readers qualify for a $100 discount to his Daily Dirtnap daily market newsletter...just email [email protected] and mention "WSO Monkey Discount". You can follow Jared on twitter at @dailydirtnap..