IQ from IP: Simplifying Search in Portfolio Choice
34 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2017 Last revised: 18 Apr 2018
Date Written: September 14, 2017
Using a novel database that tracks web traffic on the SEC’s EDGAR servers between 2003 and 2016, we show that mutual funds exert effort to reduce the dimensionality of their portfolio selection problem. Specifically, we show that mutual fund managers’ gather information on a very particular subset of firms and insiders, and their surveillance stays largely unchanged over time. This tracking has powerful implications for their portfolio choice, and its information content. An institution that downloaded an insider-trading filling by a given firm last quarter increases its likelihood of downloading an insider-trading filing on the same firm by more than 41.3 % this quarter, which is 8 times larger than the unconditional probability of an institution downloading at least one insider trading filing in a quarter from any firm in her existing portfolio (4.8%). Moreover, the average tracked stock that an institution sells generates 7.5% annualized DGTW- adjusted alpha, whereas the sale of an average non-tracked stock has close to zero DGTW adjusted alpha. The outperformance of tracked trades continues for a number of quarters following the tracked insider/institution sale and does not reverse within the sample period. Collectively, these results suggest that the information in tracked trades is important for fundamental firm value, and is only revealed following the information-rich dual trading by insiders and linked institutions.
Keywords: Tracked trades, Return predictability, Institutional trading, Insider trading
JEL Classification: G11, G14, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation