Advisors Sentiment Data Explained

Sentiment Index Dates


The Sentiment Index is released every Wednesday morning, and the emailed report uses that date. It includes our readings of newsletters received through Tuesday, via Email, Websites or US Mail.  The advisor opinions are received in the same format and time frame as is offered to their subscribers.


On the Excel data file we show the prior Friday’s date.

This is because the vast majority of those newsletters are composed after the markets close that Friday, so we include the final DJIA and S&P500 for that Friday date. This reminds us where the DJIA and S&P 500 finished at the time most of the newsletters in the survey were written.


The Investors Intelligence Sentiment Index Survey reflects the outlook of over 120 independent financial market newsletter writers. These are all subscription products, and we exclude brokerage house letters.


We having been compiling this survey for over 50 years, including James Dines, Bernie Shafer, Dan Sullivan, Joe Granville, PQ Wall and many, many others.


During that entire period there have only been four editors classifying these opinions, and only two for the last 34 years, providing continuity.


We receive the newsletters in the same format as the subscribers: email, faxed, from the web or mailed printed copies.


While a number of newsletters have been produced for a long time, others come and go so we watch Barron’s, IBD and other places looking for additional or new letters to include. We wait for a few months before including any new letter.


From the start of the Sentiment Survey in 1963, we posted dated the data with the publication date of the Investors Intelligence on the Friday that followed the Tuesday release date. As the data gained wider acceptance, and was used independent of the printed newsletter which was shifted to Email deliver, this no longer made sense.


The survey was monthly for 1963, then bi-weekly through June 1969 when it was shifted to the weekly schedule, that continues through the present.
Sentiment Index Table Headings:


Bulls    Optimistic outlook with suggestions of stocks to buy.
Bears  Negative outlook with suggestions to raise cash and sell stocks.

      In a raising market they are cautiously optimistic. Maintain current positions and looking to buy on a pullback. In a declining market they suggest selling into any short term strength.

B/(B+B)          Sentiment data present without the correction factor. This is the % of the Bulls compared to the total of Bulls + Bears

10-wk MA      A moving average of the above data. Popularized by Martin Zwieg it shows long term extremes in advisor opinions.