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The Mismatch Between Mutual Fund Scale and Skill

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  • YANG SONG

Abstract

I demonstrate that skill and scale are mismatched among actively managed equity mutual funds. Many mutual fund investors confuse the effects of fund exposures to common systematic factors with managerial skill when allocating capital among funds. Active mutual funds with positive factor‐related past returns thus accumulate assets to the point that they significantly underperform. I also show that the negative aggregate benchmark‐adjusted performance of active equity mutual funds is driven mainly by these oversized funds.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang Song, 2020. "The Mismatch Between Mutual Fund Scale and Skill," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(5), pages 2555-2589, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:75:y:2020:i:5:p:2555-2589
    DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12950
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Chang, Xiaochen & Guo, Songlin & Huang, Junkai, 2022. "Kidnapped mutual funds: Irrational preference of naive investors and fund incentive distortion," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    3. Katarzyna Perez & £ukasz Szymczyk, 2022. "Actual rate of the management fee in mutual funds of different styles," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 17(4), pages 969-1014, December.
    4. Corum, Adrian Aycan & Malenko, Andrey & Malenko, Nadya, 2020. "Corporate Governance in the Presence of Active and Passive Delegated Investment," OSF Preprints 8n6xj, Center for Open Science.
    5. Kaniel, Ron & Lin, Zihan & Pelger, Markus & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2023. "Machine-learning the skill of mutual fund managers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(1), pages 94-138.
    6. Lee, Jennifer Eunkyeong & Cho, Hoon & Ryu, Doojin & Seok, Sangik, 2023. "Does performance-chasing behavior matter? International evidence," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    7. Onur Kemal Tosun & Liang Jin & Richard Taffler & Arman Eshraghi, 2022. "Fund manager skill: selling matters more!," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 59(3), pages 969-994, October.
    8. Jeffrey A. Busse & Tarun Chordia & Lei Jiang & Yuehua Tang, 2021. "Transaction Costs, Portfolio Characteristics, and Mutual Fund Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(2), pages 1227-1248, February.

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