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NAAIM Survey: Managers Riding The Trend

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NAAIM Survey of Active Managers

The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure at the market close on a specific day of the week, currently Wednesdayâ??s. Responses can vary from +200% long to -200% short. Responses are tallied and averaged to provide the average long (or short) position or all NAAIM managers, as a group.

P.S. Dave Moenning is Vice President of NAAIM this year.

The NAAIM Member Exposure Average is an average of member firmsâ?? responses to the weekly survey as of the previous Wednesday.

Current Reading:
Current NAAIM Member Exposure Average: 91.07% (last weekâ??s reading: 89.85%

Our analysis of the data shows this to be a Very High reading relative to those seen over the past year and represents a slight increase from last weekâ??s reading

For reference purposes, the recent high water mark of the smoothed average has been 104.35% (2/1/2013) while the low was -3.56% on 10/5/2011.

Recent Quarterly Averages:

  • Q4 2012: 70.53
  • Q3 2012: 71.96
  • Q2 2012: 50.26%
  • Q1 2012: 64.18%
  • Q4 2011: 31.91%
  • Q3 2011: 34.07%
  • Q2 2011: 62.08%
  • Q1 2011: 71.48 %
  • Q4 2010: 70.00%
  • Q3 2010: 49.19%
  • Q2 2010: 54.04%
  • Q1 2010: 57.58%

For more about how to interpret the NAAIM readings, here is a report from the developer of the index, Will Hepburn.

Check out NAAIMâ??s New Website

Why should you care about this data? According the originator of the survey and past NAAIM President William Hepburn, â??NAAIM advisors absolutely nailed the 2008 decline by steadily reducing equity allocations beginning in late 2007.â? Hepburn goes on to note, â??NAAIM members had an average equity exposure of only 19% from June 2008 through March 2009.â?

Although the survey is less than five years old, Ned Davis Research notes that when the NAAIM Survey is above 73% (which occurs approximately 23% of the time), the S&P 500 has lost ground at an annualized rate of -3.8% per year. This is likely due to the fact that by the time the survey sports a high reading; most managers have already established long positions.

When the survey reading is between 14% and 73%, the S&P has gained +1.9% per year (approximately 70% of the time). And when the survey reading is below 14% the S&P has gained at a rate of +40.0% (again, a low reading suggests that managers have already sold). This reading has only occurred 6% of the time.

Link To Survey and NAAIM site

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About the Author

David Moenning is a the Chief Investment Officer at Heritage Capital Management. Dave is also the proprietor of StateoftheMarkets.com, which provides free and subscription-based portfolio services. Dave began his investment career in 1980 and has been an independent money manager since 1987. Thus, Dave has been live on the firing line and investing for a living for more than 25 years.