Blame it on the youth: According to the "Index of Investor Optimism," a joint survey between PaineWebber and Gallup, the run-up in Internet stocks is primarily being caused by young, not-so-wealthy investors.
The survey, released last week, shows that those who invest in Internet stocks are more likely to be under 40, have less than $100,000 in "investable assets" and expect significantly higher returns. In fact, 27 percent of all investors under 40 own Internet stock, and 38 percent have traded online -- compared to a mean of 8 percent of all investors.
Additionally, those young investors expect a higher return than older investors -- with annual expectations of 22.2 percent growth in their portfolios, compared to 13.3 percent for older investors.
That kind of optimism may be worth pondering the next time you wonder who's behind the day trading that's driving up the Net stocks.