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What Are Stock Investors’ Actual Historical Returns? Evidence from Dollar-Weighted Returns

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  • Ilia D. Dichev

Abstract

The existing literature typically does not differentiate between security returns and the returns of investors in these securities. This study clarifies that investor and security returns differ because of the timing and magnitude of investor capital flows into and out of these securities. The empirical results indicate that actual investor returns are systematically lower than buy-and-hold returns for nearly all major international stock markets. These results imply that the historical equity premium and the cost of equity capital are likely lower than previously thought. (JEL G11, G12, G15)

Suggested Citation

  • Ilia D. Dichev, 2007. "What Are Stock Investors’ Actual Historical Returns? Evidence from Dollar-Weighted Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 386-401, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:1:p:386-401
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.1.386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ben-Rephael, Azi & Kandel, Shmuel & Wohl, Avi, 2012. "Measuring investor sentiment with mutual fund flows," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 363-382.
    2. Ciccotello, Conrad & Greene, Jason & Ling, Leng & Rakowski, David, 2011. "Capacity and factor timing effects in active portfoliomanagement," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 277-300, May.
    3. Sloan, Richard G. & You, Haifeng, 2015. "Wealth transfers via equity transactions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 93-112.
    4. Sun, Lingxia & Lee, Dong Wook, 2019. "Dollar-weighted return on aggregate corporate sector: How is it distributed across countries?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).
    5. Keswani, Aneel & Stolin, David, 2008. "Dollar-weighted returns to stock investors: A new look at the evidence," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 228-235, December.
    6. Baker, H. Kent & De Ridder, Adri & Råsbrant, Jonas, 2020. "Investors and dividend yields," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 386-395.
    7. Muñoz, Fernando & Vicente, Ruth, 2018. "Hindsight effect: What are the actual cash flow timing skills of mutual fund investors?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 181-193.
    8. Kaustia, Markku & Rantapuska, Elias, 2012. "Rational and behavioral motives to trade: Evidence from reinvestment of dividends and tender offer proceeds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2366-2378.
    9. An, Li & Lou, Dong & Shi, Donghui, 2022. "Wealth redistribution in bubbles and crashes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 134-153.
    10. Venanzi, Daniela, 2016. "The performance of the Italian mutual funds: Does the metric matter?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 406-421.
    11. Richard Lu, 2016. "The Returns and Risk of Dynamic Investment Strategies: A Simulation Comparison," International Journal of Business and Economics, School of Management Development, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan, vol. 15(1), pages 79-83, June.
    12. David F. Babbel & Miguel A. Herce, 2018. "Stable Value Funds Performance," Risks, MDPI, vol. 6(1), pages 1-40, February.
    13. Dirk Ulbricht, 2013. "Stock Investments for Old-Age: Less Return, More Risk, and Unexpected Timing," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1324, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Zhang, Yuzhao, 2014. "Contrarian flows, consumption and expected stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 101-111.
    15. Dichev, Ilia D. & Yu, Gwen, 2011. "Higher risk, lower returns: What hedge fund investors really earn," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 248-263, May.
    16. Muñoz, Fernando, 2016. "Cash flow timing skills of socially responsible mutual fund investors," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 110-124.
    17. Lou, Dong, 2020. "Wealth Redistribution in Bubbles and Crashes," CEPR Discussion Papers 15029, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Bradley Jones, 2016. "Institutionalizing Countercyclical Investment: A Framework for Long-term Asset Owners," IMF Working Papers 2016/038, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Dvorak Tomas, 2012. "Timing of Retirement Plan Contributions and Investment Returns: The Case of Defined Benefit versus Defined Contribution," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, May.
    20. Chalmers, John & Kaul, Aditya & Phillips, Blake, 2013. "The wisdom of crowds: Mutual fund investors’ aggregate asset allocation decisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3318-3333.
    21. Bessembinder, Hendrik, 2018. "Do stocks outperform Treasury bills?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(3), pages 440-457.
    22. Rakowski, David & Yamani, Ehab, 2021. "Endogeneity in the mutual fund flow–performance relationship: An instrumental variables solution," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 247-271.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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