Since 1994, DALBAR's Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB) has measured the effects of investor decisions to buy, sell and switch into and out of mutual funds over short and long-term timeframes. These effects are measured from the perspective of the investor and do not represent the performance of the investments themselves. The results consistently show that the average investor earns less – in many cases, much less – than mutual fund performance reports would suggest.
The goal of QAIB is to improve performance of both independent investors and financial advisors by managing behaviors that cause investors to act imprudently. QAIB offers guidance on how and where investor behaviors can be improved.
The 25th Annual QAIB examines real investor returns in equity, equity index, fixed income and asset allocation categories of investors. The analysis covers the 20-year period to December 31, 2018, which encompasses the aftermath of the crash of 1987, the drop at the turn of the millennium, the crash of 2008, plus recovery periods leading up to the most recent bull market.