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A review of behavioural and management effects in mutual fund performance

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  • Cuthbertson, Keith
  • Nitzsche, Dirk
  • O'Sullivan, Niall

Abstract

This paper surveys and critically evaluates the literature on the role of management effects and fund characteristics in mutual fund performance. First, a brief overview of performance measures is provided. Second, empirical findings on the predictive power of fund characteristics in explaining future returns are discussed. Third, the paper reviews the literature on fund manager behavioural biases and the impact these have on risk taking and returns. Finally, the impact of organizational structure, governance and strategy on both fund risk taking and future performance is examined. While a number of surveys on mutual fund performance are available, these have not focused on the role of manager behavioural biases, manager characteristics and fund management strategic behavior on fund performance and risk taking. This review is an attempt to fill this gap. Empirical results indicate that finding successful funds ex-ante is extremely difficult, if not impossible. In contrast, there is strong evidence that poor performance persists for many of the prior “loser fractile” portfolios of funds. A number of manager behavioural biases are prevalent in the mutual fund industry and they generally detract from returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Cuthbertson, Keith & Nitzsche, Dirk & O'Sullivan, Niall, 2016. "A review of behavioural and management effects in mutual fund performance," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 162-176.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:44:y:2016:i:c:p:162-176
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2016.01.016
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    Keywords

    Mutual fund performance; Fund characteristics; Manager characteristics; Manager behavior biases;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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