Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives
This paper examines a potential agency conflict between mutual fund investors and mutual fund companies. Investors would like the fund company to use its judgment to maximize risk-adjusted fund returns, the fund company has an incentive to increase the inflow of investments. The authors estimate the shape of the flow-performance relationship for a sample of growth and growth and income funds observed over the 1982-92 period. The shape creates incentives for fund managers to alter the riskiness of their portfolios. Examining portfolio holdings, the authors find that risk levels are changed toward the end of the year in a manner consistent with these incentives. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.
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