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Does conditional mutual fund outperformance exist?

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  • Swaminathan G. Badrinath
  • Stefano Gubellini
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    Abstract

    Purpose – Glode provides theoretical and empirical evidence that, in aggregate, funds underperform during economic expansions and outperform during contractions. The authors find that this result is not robust to the more appropriate conditional CAPM and to alternative methods for estimating market states. The purpose of this paper is therefore to thoroughly analyze mutual fund performance across the business cycle by disaggregating funds into different investment objectives to determine which funds possess this cyclical performance and which do not. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the authors employ a conditional asset pricing model that better captures the variations in the pricing kernel in different economic states. The empirical model adjusts for time-variation in both risk (beta) and performance (alpha). The authors specify economic states using an ex-ante measure, the expected market risk premium. This measure is continuous and better captures changing economic circumstances than the ex-post, binary NBER cycle dates that are common in the mutual fund literature. Findings – In this conditional framework, the authors find that recession protection is only offered by certain types of equity mutual funds. Managers of small-cap and mid-cap growth equity funds are able to deliver such state-dependent performance but managers of value funds do not. In a comparison of active mutual funds with passive counterparts, it is found that both the stocks held by the small-cap managers as well as their stewardship of the portfolio contribute to that performance. Originality/value – Drawing from the recent asset pricing literature, the authors are the first to adapt an integrated conditional CAPM framework to examine the state-dependent performance of mutual funds. Rather than report aggregate equity mutual fund performance, the authors provide an analysis for subsets of mutual funds separated by investment styles. Both managers of and investors in these funds will benefit from an understanding of how portfolio performance is impacted by changing economic conditions

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Managerial Finance.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 12 ()
    Pages: 1160-1183

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:mfipps:v:38:y:2012:i:12:p:1160-1183

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    Related research

    Keywords: Conditional performance evaluation; Expected market risk premium; Mutual funds; Risk management; Time-varying risk; Unit trusts;

    References

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    1. Harvey, Campbell R., 1989. "Time-varying conditional covariances in tests of asset pricing models," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 289-317.
    2. Christopherson, Jon A & Ferson, Wayne E & Glassman, Debra A, 1998. "Conditioning Manager Alphas on Economic Information: Another Look at the Persistence of Performance," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 111-42.
    3. Abhay Kaushik & Anita Pennathur, 2010. "Market timing and the determinants of performance of sector funds over the business cycle," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(7), pages 583-602, July.
    4. Avramov, Doron & Wermers, Russ, 2006. "Investing in mutual funds when returns are predictable," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 339-377, August.
    5. Wayne E. Ferson & Campbell R. Harvey, 1999. "Conditioning Variables and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 7009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lewellen, Jonathan & Nagel, Stefan, 2006. "The conditional CAPM does not explain asset-pricing anomalies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 289-314, November.
    7. Wayne E. Ferson & Sergei Sarkissian & Timothy Simin, 2006. "Asset Pricing Models with Conditional Betas and Alphas: The Effects of Data Snooping and Spurious Regression," NBER Working Papers 12658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Harry Mamaysky & Matthew Spiegel & Hong Zhang, 2008. "Estimating the Dynamics of Mutual Fund Alphas and Betas," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 233-264, January.
    9. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
    10. Ferson, Wayne E & Schadt, Rudi W, 1996. " Measuring Fund Strategy and Performance in Changing Economic Conditions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 425-61, June.
    11. Henkel, Sam James & Martin, J. Spencer & Nardari, Federico, 2011. "Time-varying short-horizon predictability," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 560-580, March.
    12. Cochrane, John H, 1996. "A Cross-Sectional Test of an Investment-Based Asset Pricing Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 572-621, June.
    13. K. J. Martijn Cremers & Antti Petajisto, 2009. "How Active Is Your Fund Manager? A New Measure That Predicts Performance," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3329-3365, September.
    14. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
    15. Heber Farnsworth, 2002. "Performance Evaluation with Stochastic Discount Factors," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(3), pages 473-504, July.
    16. Heber Farnsworth & Wayne E. Ferson & David Jackson & Steven Todd, 2002. "Performance Evaluation with Stochastic Discount Factors," NBER Working Papers 8791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
    18. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1989. "Business conditions and expected returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 23-49, November.
    19. Shanken, Jay, 1990. "Intertemporal asset pricing : An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 99-120.
    20. Petkova, Ralitsa & Zhang, Lu, 2005. "Is value riskier than growth?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 187-202, October.
    21. Edwin J. Elton, 2001. "A First Look at the Accuracy of the CRSP Mutual Fund Database and a Comparison of the CRSP and Morningstar Mutual Fund Databases," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2415-2430, December.
    22. Mark M. Carhart & Jennifer N. Carpenter & Anthony W. Lynch & David K. Musto, 2002. "Mutual Fund Survivorship," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(5), pages 1439-1463.
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