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Mutual Fund Performance: An Empirical Decomposition into Stock-Picking Talent, Style, Transactions Costs, and Expenses

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  • Russ Wermers

    (Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Colorado at Boulder)

Abstract

We use a new database to perform a comprehensive analysis of the mutual fund industry. We find that funds hold stocks that outperform the market by 1.3 percent per year, but their net returns underperform by one percent. Of the 2.3 percent difference between these results, 0.7 percent is due to the underperformance of nonstock holdings, whereas 1.6 percent is due to expenses and transactions costs. Thus, funds pick stocks well enough to cover their costs. Also, high-turnover funds beat the Vanguard Index 500 fund on a net return basis. Our evidence supports the value of active mutual fund management. Copyright The American Finance Association 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Russ Wermers, 2000. "Mutual Fund Performance: An Empirical Decomposition into Stock-Picking Talent, Style, Transactions Costs, and Expenses," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1655-1703, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:55:y:2000:i:4:p:1655-1703
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