Should smart investors buy funds with high returns in the past?
Newspapers and weekly magazines catering to the investing crowd often rank funds according to the returns generated in the past. Aside from satisfying sheer curiosity, these numbers are probably also the basis on which investors pick a fund to invest in. In this article, we fully characterize the equilibrium in a game between a mutual fund manager of unknown ability who controls the riskiness of his portfolio and investors who only observe realized returns. We derive conditions under which (i) investors invest in the fund if the realized return falls within some interval, i.e., is neither too low nor too high, (ii) an informed fund manager picks a portfolio of minimal riskiness and (iii) an uninformed mutual fund manager will pick a portfolio with higher risk, gambling on a lucky outcome, (iv), when the fee structure is endogenous, both types of manager choose the same fraction-of-fund fee structure. Our results are consistent with empirical evidence about the lack of persistence of top performance, and about the very wide use of fraction-of-fund fee structure among mutual funds.
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- Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan, 1993. "Performance Measurement without Benchmarks: An Examination of Mutual Fund Returns," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66(1), pages 47-68, January.
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- William N. Goetzmann & Stephen J. Brown, 2005. "Performance Persistence," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm451, Yale School of Management.
- 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.
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- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
- David K. Musto, 1999. "Investment Decisions Depend on Portfolio Disclosures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 935-952, 06.
- Khorana, Ajay, 1996. "Top management turnover An empirical investigation of mutual fund managers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 403-427, March.
- Goriaev, A.P. & Palomino, F.A. & Prat, A., 2000. "Mutual Fund Tournament : Risk Taking Incentives Induced by Ranking Objectives," Discussion Paper 2000-94, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Goriaev, Alexei P. & Palomino, Frédéric & Prat, Andrea, 2001. "Mutual Fund Tournament: Risk Taking Incentives Induced By Ranking Objectives," CEPR Discussion Papers 2794, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Brown, Keith C & Harlow, W V & Starks, Laura T, 1996. " Of Tournaments and Temptations: An Analysis of Managerial Incentives in the Mutual Fund Industry," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 85-110, March.
- Palomino, F.A. & Prat, A., 1998. "Dynamic incentives in the money management tournament," Discussion Paper 1998-107, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Heinkel, Robert & Stoughton, Neal M, 1994. "The Dynamics of Portfolio Management Contracts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 351-387.
- Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
- V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
- Golec, Joseph H., 1992. "Empirical Tests of a Principal-Agent Model of the Investor-Investment Advisor Relationship," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(01), pages 81-95, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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