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Who incentivizes the mutual fund manager, new or old shareholders?

  • Johnson, Woodrow T.

This study tests whether mutual fund shareholders continue to trade in response to fund returns after they make their initial investment in fund shares. It decomposes the relationship between fund returns and shareholder flow in a large, proprietary panel of all shareholder transactions in one midsize no-load mutual fund family. Results show that both new and old shareholders buy shares during periods of good returns; however, shareholder outflow is essentially unrelated to fund returns. This lack of a return-sell relationship is not driven by locked-in pension assets, shareholders' ignorance of ongoing fund returns, or embedded capital gains. However, there is evidence that exchanges between equity funds in the family are related more strongly to returns of the destination fund than to returns of the origination fund. This may indicate that flow between equity mutual funds is driven by shareholders buying new funds rather than selling old funds. Supermarket shareholders are smart insofar as they exchange into funds that subsequently outperform their prior funds during their individual holding periods.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Intermediation.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 143-168

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:143-168
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622875

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