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Why do institutional investors chase return trends?

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  • Altı, Aydoğan
  • Kaniel, Ron
  • Yoeli, Uzi

Abstract

We propose and test a simple explanation for institutional investors’ tendency to chase return trends. When investors face uncertainty about the precision of their private information, they wait for subsequent confirming news before establishing stock positions. While such news impact the stock price, at the same time they increase investors’ estimates of the precision of their information. With low information quality the latter effect dominates and causes investors to purchase the stock after confirming good news. We formalize these ideas in a simple model and test the model’s predictions on mutual funds’ stock holdings data. Using mutual funds’ past return experiences with individual stocks as a proxy for their stock-specific information quality, we find evidence for the prediction that trend chasing is more likely when information quality is low.

Suggested Citation

  • Altı, Aydoğan & Kaniel, Ron & Yoeli, Uzi, 2012. "Why do institutional investors chase return trends?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 694-721.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:21:y:2012:i:4:p:694-721
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfi.2012.05.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Banerjee, Snehal & Green, Brett, 2015. "Signal or noise? Uncertainty and learning about whether other traders are informed," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 398-423.
    2. Bicchetti, David & Maystre, Nicolas Maystre, 2013. "The synchronized and long-lasting structural change on commodity markets: Evidence from high frequency data," Algorithmic Finance, IOS Press, vol. 2(3-4), pages 233-239.
    3. Daniel Bradley & Xi Liu & Christos Pantzalis, 2014. "Bucking the Trend: The Informativeness of Analyst Contrarian Recommendations," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 43(2), pages 391-414, June.
    4. Filzen, Joshua J. & Schutte, Maria Gabriela, 2017. "Comovement, financial reporting complexity, and information markets: Evidence from the effect of changes in 10-Q lengths on internet search volumes and peer correlations," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 19-37.
    5. Dutt, Tanuj & Humphery-Jenner, Mark, 2013. "Stock return volatility, operating performance and stock returns: International evidence on drivers of the ‘low volatility’ anomaly," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 999-1017.
    6. Melusi Mpofu & Mabutho Sibanda, 2015. "Private Equity Capital in a Less Developed Economy: Evidence, Issues and Perspectives," Acta Universitatis Danubius. OEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 11(5), pages 17-29, October.
    7. repec:eee:jbfina:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:224-239 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Bradley, Daniel & Pantzalis, Christos & Yuan, Xiaojing, 2016. "The influence of political bias in state pension funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 69-91.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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