TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index IMX

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Definition of 'TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index IMX'

The Investor Movement Index, (or the IMX) is a proprietary, behavior-based index created by TD Ameritrade designed to provide insight into Main Street sentiment. It measures what investors are actually doing, and how they are positioned in the markets. The IMX does this by using data representing the holdings/positions, trading activity and other data from an anonymous sample from six million funded accounts. This data is used to create a snapshot that can be monitored over time, or compared to other market indicators, to suggest the current sentiment of the real portfolios held by retail investors.

Historical Overview
TD Ameritrade's Investor Movement Index (IMX) has generally correlated with the S&P 500 as clients react to equity price movements, but the index has gone through uncorrelated periods. Beginning in January 2010, when TD Ameritrade started tracking the IMX, the index increased with equity markets until April 2010, when it reached 5.40--the third-highest point we've seen over the last few years. In May 2010 investors experienced the "Flash Crash" and the IMX began a sharp downward trend. The IMX didn't reach 5.00 again until the S&P 500 was well above April 2010 levels. The index eventually peaked at 5.56 in June 2011. This peak was immediately followed by a plunge in equity markets as well as a plunge in the IMX as the media was dominated by the U.S. debt ceiling debate, the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt, and European debt concerns. The S&P 500 began to recover in the fall of 2011, but the IMX continued to decrease until it reached a new low in January 2012. Once the S&P 500 seemed to have an established upward trend at the beginning of 2012, the IMX started to rise.

TD Ameritrade release this data on a monthly basis on the first or second Monday of each month. The data released is for the previous month, for example, the data released at the beginning on February will be for January. This data is never revised.

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