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Optimal Timing in Trading Japanese Equity Mutual Funds: Theory and Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Tanaka, Hiroatsu

    (U Tokyo)

  • Baba, Naohiko

    (Bank of Japan)

Abstract

This paper provides both theoretical and empirical analyses of market participants' optimal decision-making in trading Japanese equity mutual funds. First, we build an intertemporal decision-making model under uncertainty in the presence of transaction costs. This setting enables us to shed light on the investors' option to delay investment. A comparative analysis shows that an increase in uncertainty over the expected rate of return on mutual funds has a negative impact not only on market participants' buying behavior but also on their selling behavior. In addition, a several percent increase in front-end loads and redemption fees is likely to change the optimal holding ratio of mutual funds in investors' portfolios, by up to 10 percent. Second, we empirically examine the theoretical implications using daily transaction data of selected equity mutual funds in Japan. By estimating a panel data model, we conclude that for the sample period, from August 2000 to July 2001, investment behavior has been rational in light of our theoretical model. Our results suggest that investors are likely to rationally postpone their purchases of equity mutual funds under the present circumstances of low expected returns, high degree of uncertainty, and high trading costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tanaka, Hiroatsu & Baba, Naohiko, 2004. "Optimal Timing in Trading Japanese Equity Mutual Funds: Theory and Evidence," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 22(1), pages 91-121, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ime:imemes:v:22:y:2004:i:1:p:91-121
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lu Zheng, 1999. "Is Money Smart? A Study of Mutual Fund Investors' Fund Selection Ability," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 901-933, June.
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    3. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    4. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
    5. George M. Constantinides, 2005. "Capital Market Equilibrium with Transaction Costs," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Theory Of Valuation, chapter 7, pages 207-227 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    8. Brown, Stephen J, et al, 2001. "The Japanese Open-End Fund Puzzle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(1), pages 59-77, January.
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    11. Cai, Jun & Chan, K C & Yamada, Takeshi, 1997. "The Performance of Japanese Mutual Funds," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 237-273.
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    13. Eli M. Remolona & Paul Kleiman & Debbie Gruenstein, 1997. "Market returns and mutual fund flows," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jul, pages 33-52.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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