Do superstitious traders lose money?

Utpal Bhattacharya, Wei Yu Kuo, Tse Chun Lin, Jing Zhao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Do superstitious traders lose money? We answer this question in the context of trading in the Taiwan Futures Exchange, where we exploit the Chinese superstition that the number 8 is lucky and the number 4 is unlucky. We find that individual investors, but not institutional investors, submit disproportionately more limit orders at 8 than at 4. This imbalance, defined as the “superstition index” for each investor, is positively correlated with trading losses. Superstitious investors lose money mainly because of their bad market timing and stale orders. Nevertheless, the reliance on number superstition for limit order submissions does decrease with trading experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3772-3791
Number of pages20
JournalManagement Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Individual investors
  • Investment performance
  • Limit order clustering
  • Superstition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Do superstitious traders lose money?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this