DR. BARBARA BUKHVALOVA,
The rational portfolio allocation theories seem to be at odds with the mounting evidence of importance of behavioral factors for stock returns and market-wide measures of transactions. The factors can work through effects on sentiment, attention or both. We focus on effects of changes in attention driven by ever changing interest in sport, weather and finance, nationally and internationally. In most of the literature, investors’ behavior is a black box between the news and their effects on the market. This paper opens the black box and looks at the investors’ trading intensity directly. We find that institutional investors are not immune to attention factors. International investors are affected by both, sways in Norwegian and in domestic attention. We find attention to sport and weather, as measured by Google search volumes, to be important distractors, while attention to finance and the general interest in the country to be positively associated with trading activities. Rather than following the optimal portfolio rebalancing principles, the investors appear to be afflicted by several discernible behavioral biases.