Mutual Fund Shareholder Letters: Flows, Performance, and Managerial Behavior
77 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2014 Last revised: 18 Dec 2020
Date Written: December 17, 2020
Fund companies regularly send shareholder letters to their investors. We use textual analysis to investigate whether the writing style of these letters matters for fund flows and whether it predicts fund performance and investment styles. We find that fund investors react to the tone and content of shareholder letters. A negative tone leads to lower net flows, while honest communication that explains fund performance in light of current economic conditions, as well as a plain English writing style increase flows. Thus, fund companies can use shareholder letters as a tactical instrument, e.g., to avoid redemptions. Fund investors can use shareholder letters to learn about future changes in fund managers' risk taking and investment styles.
Keywords: Fund Flows, Textual Analysis, Shareholder Letters, Fund Performance
JEL Classification: G23, G11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation