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Smart money or dumb money? A study on the selection ability of mutual fund investors in China

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  • Feng, Xunan
  • Zhou, Mingshan
  • Chan, Kam C.

Abstract

We examine investors’ mutual fund selection ability in China. Using actively managed equity mutual funds between 2005 and 2011, we find that Chinese investors generally have no mutual fund selection ability, a result contrary to the smart money effect in the United States. We show that mutual funds that receive more new money subsequently underperform significantly. The findings are robust to several risk-adjusted performance measures. The unique data of China provide separate accounts of institutional and individual investors’ new money flowing into and out of mutual funds, allowing us to examine the mutual fund selection ability of institutional and individual investors. We document that institutional investors exhibit a smart money effect, that is, they are able to move new money into (out of) future good (poor) performers. In contrast, individual investors exhibit a dumb money effect. Our results provide useful information for regulators to review their rules, especially for the protection of individual investors regarding mutual fund investing in China. In addition, we show that it is useful to distinguish institutional and individual investors in mutual fund research.

Suggested Citation

  • Feng, Xunan & Zhou, Mingshan & Chan, Kam C., 2014. "Smart money or dumb money? A study on the selection ability of mutual fund investors in China," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 154-170.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:30:y:2014:i:c:p:154-170
    DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2014.09.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brzeszczyński, Janusz & Gajdka, Jerzy & Kutan, Ali M., 2015. "Investor response to public news, sentiment and institutional trading in emerging markets: A review," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 338-352.
    2. Hu, May & Chao, Chi-Chur & Lim, Jin Hao, 2016. "Another explanation of the mutual fund fee puzzle," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 134-152.
    3. Laborda, Ricardo & Muñoz, Fernando, 2016. "Optimal allocation of government bond funds through the business cycle. Is money smart?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 46-67.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investor; Mutual fund; Selection ability; China;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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