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Optimal Timing in Trading Japanese Equity Mutual Funds: Theory and Evidence

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  • Tanaka, Hiroatsu

    (U Tokyo)

  • Baba, Naohiko

    (Bank of Japan)

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    Abstract

    This paper provides both theoretical and empirical analyses of market participants' optimal decision-making in trading Japanese equity mutual funds. First, we build an intertemporal decision-making model under uncertainty in the presence of transaction costs. This setting enables us to shed light on the investors' option to delay investment. A comparative analysis shows that an increase in uncertainty over the expected rate of return on mutual funds has a negative impact not only on market participants' buying behavior but also on their selling behavior. In addition, a several percent increase in front-end loads and redemption fees is likely to change the optimal holding ratio of mutual funds in investors' portfolios, by up to 10 percent. Second, we empirically examine the theoretical implications using daily transaction data of selected equity mutual funds in Japan. By estimating a panel data model, we conclude that for the sample period, from August 2000 to July 2001, investment behavior has been rational in light of our theoretical model. Our results suggest that investors are likely to rationally postpone their purchases of equity mutual funds under the present circumstances of low expected returns, high degree of uncertainty, and high trading costs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan in its journal Monetary and Economic Studies.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 91-121

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    Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:22:y:2004:i:1:p:91-121

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    1. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    2. Lu Zheng, 1999. "Is Money Smart? A Study of Mutual Fund Investors' Fund Selection Ability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 901-933, 06.
    3. Friend, Irwin & Blume, Marshall E, 1975. "The Demand for Risky Assets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 900-922, December.
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    5. Dumas, Bernard, 1991. "Super contact and related optimality conditions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 675-685, October.
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    7. Brown, Stephen J, et al, 2001. "The Japanese Open-End Fund Puzzle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 59-77, January.
    8. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
    9. Chordia, Tarun, 1996. "The structure of mutual fund charges," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 3-39, May.
    10. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
    11. Constantinides, George M, 1986. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 842-62, August.
    12. Cai, Jun & Chan, K C & Yamada, Takeshi, 1997. "The Performance of Japanese Mutual Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 237-73.
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