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Should smart investors buy funds with high returns in the past?

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  • Palomino, Frederic
  • Uhlig, Harald

Abstract

Newspapers and weekly magazines catering to the investing crowd often rank funds according to the returns generated in the past. Aside from satisfying sheer curiosity, these numbers are probably also the basis on which investors pick a fund to invest in. In this article, we fully characterize the equilibrium in a game between a mutual fund manager of unknown ability who controls the riskiness of his portfolio and investors who only observe realized returns. We derive conditions under which (i) investors invest in the fund if the realized return falls within some interval, i.e., is neither too low nor too high, (ii) an informed fund manager picks a portfolio of minimal riskiness and (iii) an uninformed mutual fund manager will pick a portfolio with higher risk, gambling on a lucky outcome, (iv), when the fee structure is endogenous, both types of manager choose the same fraction-of-fund fee structure. Our results are consistent with empirical evidence about the lack of persistence of top performance, and about the very wide use of fraction-of-fund fee structure among mutual funds. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes in its series SFB 373 Discussion Papers with number 2002,28.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200228

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  1. Huddart, Steven, 1999. "Reputation and performance fee effects on portfolio choice by investment advisers1," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 227-271, August.
  2. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  3. William N. Goetzmann & Stephen J. Brown, 2005. "Performance Persistence," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm451, Yale School of Management.
  4. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. "Performance Measurement without Benchmarks: An Examination of Mutual Fund Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 47-68, January.
  5. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  6. Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Khorana, Ajay, 1996. "Top management turnover An empirical investigation of mutual fund managers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 403-427, March.
  8. Goriaev, Alexei P. & Palomino, Frédéric & Prat, Andrea, 2001. "Mutual Fund Tournament: Risk Taking Incentives Induced By Ranking Objectives," CEPR Discussion Papers 2794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. David K. Musto, 1999. "Investment Decisions Depend on Portfolio Disclosures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 935-952, 06.
  10. Brown, Keith C & Harlow, W V & Starks, Laura T, 1996. " Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 85-110, March.
  11. Palomino, Frederic, 2005. "Relative performance objectives in financial markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 351-375, July.
  12. Ippolito, Richard A, 1992. "Consumer Reaction to Measures of Poor Quality: Evidence from the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 45-70, April.
  13. Heinkel, Robert & Stoughton, Neal M, 1994. "The Dynamics of Portfolio Management Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 351-87.
  14. Golec, Joseph H., 1992. "Empirical Tests of a Principal-Agent Model of the Investor-Investment Advisor Relationship," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(01), pages 81-95, March.
  15. Palomino, F.A. & Prat, A., 1998. "Dynamic Incentives in the Money Management Tournament," Discussion Paper 1998-107, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Goriaev, A.P., 2002. "On the Behavior of Mutual Fund Investors and Managers," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-90437, Tilburg University.

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