This paper investigates the causes and consequences of investors’ attention to their portfolios. Using novel panel data on daily online logins for a large sample of retirement accounts, we find support for selective attention to portfolio information. Account logins fall by 9.5% after market declines. Investors also pay less attention when the VIX volatility index is high. This login behavior has implications for the motives for attention. We also show how patterns in attention affect aggregate trading. In addition, the level of attention and the attention/return correlation are strongly related to investor demographics (gender, age) and financial condition (wealth, holdings).
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