Investor psychological bias towards number preferences in stock price endings : rationality vs irrationality : a research thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirement of the degree of Masters in Business Studies (Fin) at Massey University
Consumer reactions towards products that end with $X.99 have been heavily researched in the marketing literature. My study has found psychological bias towards numbers in finance prices, where there is a positive return for prices ending in $X.01 and a negative return for prices ending in $X.99 for the American and Chinese Markets, with the return difference annualised to 22.65% and 54.43% per year, respectively. I find there are more buyer initiated stocks for stocks ending with the digit 9. This is not the same as consumer psychological bias, where consumers consider prices that end with 9 to be much cheaper than those ending in other digits. Rather, the case here is a rationality response to psychological bias. This would also explain why I did not find excessive buys in the Chinese market in relation to lucky numbers, as is found in the marketing literature.