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The Relationship between Mutual Fund Fees and Expenses and Their Effects on Performance


  • Dellva, Wilfred L
  • Olson, Gerard T


Fees charged by mutual funds include front-end load charges, deferred sales charges that decrease over time, redemption fees that are imposed whenever shares are sold, and 12b-1 fees. Fees may be justified if they allow the fund to lower other costs or improve performance. In this paper, we find that, on average, 12b-1 fees, deferred sales charges, and redemption fees increase expenses whereas funds with front-end loads generally have lower expenses. We also find that funds with 12b-1 fees and redemption fees, on average, earn higher risk adjusted returns but funds with front-end load charges earn lower risk adjusted returns. Copyright 1998 by MIT Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dellva, Wilfred L & Olson, Gerard T, 1998. "The Relationship between Mutual Fund Fees and Expenses and Their Effects on Performance," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 85-103, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:finrev:v:33:y:1998:i:1:p:85-103

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    Cited by:

    1. Sharon Garyn-Tal, 2015. "Mutual fund fees and performance: new insights," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 39(3), pages 454-477, July.
    2. Carmen-Pilar Mart¨ª-Ballester, 2012. "A Comparative Analysis of the Performance of Collective Investment Institutions," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 2, pages 43-52, May.
    3. Babalos, Vassilios & Kostakis, Alexandros & Philippas, Nikolaos, 2009. "Managing mutual funds or managing expense ratios? Evidence from the Greek fund industry," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 256-272, October.
    4. Vicki L. Bogan, 2014. "Savings Incentives And Investment Management Fees: A Study Of The 529 College Savings Plan Market," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 826-842, October.
    5. Isabel Toledo & Rocío Marco, 2010. "Costs associated with mutual funds in Spain," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 165-179.
    6. Tang, Ke & Wang, Wenjun & Xu, Rong, 2012. "Size and performance of Chinese mutual funds: The role of economy of scale and liquidity," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 228-246.
    7. Guo, Liang, 2016. "Are U.S. investors blindly chasing returns in foreign countries?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 309-334.
    8. Mikhail Simutin, 2014. "Cash Holdings and Mutual Fund Performance," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 18(4), pages 1425-1464.
    9. Tran-Dieu, Linh, 2015. "How do mutual funds transfer scale economies to investors? Evidence from France," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 66-83.
    10. Galagedera, Don U.A. & Watson, John & Premachandra, I.M. & Chen, Yao, 2016. "Modeling leakage in two-stage DEA models: An application to US mutual fund families," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 62-77.
    11. Alves, Paulo, 2015. "The Fees of Mutual Funds and Real Estate Funds: Their Determinants in a Small Market," MPRA Paper 65490, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Schadler, Frederick P. & Eakins, Stanley G., 2001. "A stock selection model using Morningstar's style box," Financial Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(1-4), pages 129-144.
    13. Mamatzakis, Emmanuel & Xu, Bingrun, 2016. "Managerial attributes and equity mutual fund performance: evidence from china," MPRA Paper 76139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Eakins, Stanley G. & Stansell, Stanley R., 2003. "Can value-based stock selection criteria yield superior risk-adjusted returns: an application of neural networks," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 83-97.
    15. Gil Bazo, Javier & Martínez Sedano, Miguel Angel, 2004. "The Black Box of Mutual Fund Fees," DFAEII Working Papers 2004-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    16. Prather, Laurie & Bertin, William J. & Henker, Thomas, 2004. "Mutual fund characteristics, managerial attributes, and fund performance," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 305-326.
    17. Monika K. Rabarison, 2016. "New insights into mutual fund brokerage commissions," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(3), pages 492-513, July.
    18. Alves, Paulo, 2016. "The Expenses of Real Estate Funds in a Small Market: Their Determinants," MPRA Paper 83275, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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