Systematic Risk and the Performance of Mutual Funds Pursuing Momentum and Contrarian Trades
30 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2009
Date Written: August 23, 2009
We examine mutual fund trading activity to determine whether they rebalance their portfolios towards stocks that were recent superior performers (a momentum strategy) or towards stocks that recently underperformed (a contrarian strategy). Using 2,829 funds with 49,661 fund-periods between 1991 and 2005, we find that around 15% of the funds exhibit contrarian trading behavior with a similar percentage following a momentum strategy. We highlight the importance of a stock’s risk to traders adopting momentum and contrarian strategies. Mutual funds that follow a momentum strategy and acquire high-risk stocks improve their performance, while those following a contrarian strategy in these stocks diminish their performance. Both contrarian and momentum trading behavior by funds persists.
Keywords: Mutual fund, contrarian, momentum, risk
JEL Classification: G2, G11, G14, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation