December 9, 2010
By JONATHAN CHENG
When the American Association of Individual Investors’ weekly gauge of sentiment hits the tape early Thursday, much of Wall Street will be ready to pore over the numbers.
“It’s the first thing I check—I look at it every week, and I think it’s very, very important,” says Keith Springer, head of Springer Financial Advisors in Sacramento, Calif. Like Mr. Springer, John Buckingham, chief investment officer at Al Frank Asset Management and publisher of its widely read Prudent Speculator newsletter, calls the survey one of his favorite measures of investor sentiment.
What Mr. Springer and few on Wall Street know is that the survey’s sample size is typically so small, and its methodology so fraught with holes, as to render it statistically worthless.
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