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Seasonal Asset Allocation: Evidence from Mutual Fund Flows

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  • Kamstra, Mark J.
  • Kramer, Lisa A.
  • Levi, Maurice D.
  • Wermers, Russ

Abstract

We analyze the flow of money between mutual fund categories, finding strong evidence of seasonality in investor risk aversion. Aggregate investor flow data reveal an investor preference for safe mutual funds in autumn and risky funds in spring. During September alone, outflows from equity funds average $13 billion, controlling for previously documented flow determinants (e.g., capital-gains overhang). This movement of large amounts of money between fund categories is correlated with seasonality in investor risk aversion, consistent with investors preferring safer (riskier) investments in autumn (spring). We find consistent evidence in Canada and also in Australia, where seasons are offset by 6 months.

Suggested Citation

  • Kamstra, Mark J. & Kramer, Lisa A. & Levi, Maurice D. & Wermers, Russ, 2017. "Seasonal Asset Allocation: Evidence from Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 71-109, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jfinqa:v:52:y:2017:i:01:p:71-109_00
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    3. Dariusz Filip, 2021. "A Review of Main Strands on the Flow-Performance Relationship of Mutual Funds," Athens Journal of Business & Economics, Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER), vol. 7(3), pages 245-256, July.
    4. Lee, Deok-Hyeon & Min, Byoung-Kyu & Xiao, Yuchao, 2020. "Testing the mood seasonality hypothesis: Evidence from down under," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    5. Heo, Wookjae & Grable, John E. & Rabbani, Abed G., 2018. "A test of the relevant association between utility theory and subjective risk tolerance: Introducing the Profit-to-Willingness ratio," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 84-88.
    6. Hirshleifer, David & Jiang, Danling & DiGiovanni, Yuting Meng, 2020. "Mood beta and seasonalities in stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 272-295.
    7. Wang, Albert Y. & Young, Michael, 2020. "Terrorist attacks and investor risk preference: Evidence from mutual fund flows," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(2), pages 491-514.
    8. Uddin, Gazi Salah & Arreola Hernandez, Jose & Labidi, Chiraz & Troster, Victor & Yoon, Seong-Min, 2019. "The impact of financial and economic factors on Islamic mutual fund performance: Evidence from multiple fund categories," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 52.
    9. Hasso, Tim & Pelster, Matthias & Breitmayer, Bastian, 2020. "Terror attacks and individual investor behavior: Evidence from the 2015–2017 European terror attacks," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C).
    10. Hyung-Suk Choi & Doojin Ryu & Sangik Seok, 2017. "The turn-of-the-year effect in mutual fund flows," Risk Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(2), pages 131-157, May.
    11. Adam Zaremba & Jacob Koby Shemer, 2018. "Price-Based Investment Strategies," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-319-91530-2, September.
    12. Kliger, Doron & Qadan, Mahmoud, 2019. "The High Holidays: Psychological mechanisms of honesty in real-life financial decisions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 121-137.
    13. Krishnamurthy, Srinivasan & Pelletier, Denis & Warr, Richard S., 2018. "Inflation and equity mutual fund flows," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 52-69.
    14. Yang Song, 2020. "The Mismatch Between Mutual Fund Scale and Skill," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(5), pages 2555-2589, October.
    15. Brown, Stephen J. & Sotes-Paladino, Juan & Wang, Jiaguo(George) & Yao, Yaqiong, 2017. "Starting on the wrong foot: Seasonality in mutual fund performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 133-150.
    16. Michael Weigerding & Michael Hanke, 2018. "Drivers of seasonal return patterns in German stocks," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 11(1), pages 173-196, February.
    17. Shafi, Kourosh & Mohammadi, Ali, 2020. "Too gloomy to invest: Weather-induced mood and crowdfunding," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).

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    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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