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Risk Shifting and Mutual Fund Performance

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  • Jennifer Huang
  • Clemens Sialm
  • Hanjiang Zhang

Abstract

Mutual funds change their risk levels significantly over time. This paper investigates the performance consequences of risk shifting, as well as the economic motivations and the mechanisms of risk shifting. Using a holdings-based measure of risk shifting, we find that funds that increase risk perform worse than funds that keep stable risk levels over time. In addition, funds that expect higher benefits from risk shifting are more likely to increase risk and perform particularly poorly after increasing risk. Our results are consistent with the notion that agency problems, rather than the ability to take advantage of changing investment opportunities, are the likely motivation behind risk shifting behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Huang & Clemens Sialm & Hanjiang Zhang, 2009. "Risk Shifting and Mutual Fund Performance," NBER Working Papers 14903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14903
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    More about this item

    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
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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