We study investor happiness in a panel survey of brokerage clients at a UK bank. When investors anticipate future happiness, they set their return aspirations according to personal portfolio risk, objectives, investment horizon, confidence, and other individual characteristics. They are accurate in their forecasts, only rarely are investors unhappy with outcomes they predicted they would be happy with, and vice versa. However, determinants of experienced happiness only partially correspond to the ones found for anticipated happiness. In particular, relative performance plays an important role investors do not anticipate. Having outperformed other people contributes to investor happiness, as does active trading success.
JEL codes: D14, G02, G11.
Keywords: Happiness, Anticipation, Experience, Return expectations, Individual investors.