What is Mutual Fund Flow?
71 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2019
Date Written: June 2, 2019
Distinguishing between switches, pre-authorized contributions, systematic withdrawal plans, reinvestments, and distributions, we find that different types of fund flow exhibit distinct characteristics to retail fund flow with respect to fund fees and past performance. We argue that the positive correlation between retail fund inflow and switch-out reflects information asymmetry between incoming investors and current unitholders. This information asymmetry is more common when fund series are sold through dealers or brokers. We further show that this information asymmetry, attributed to biased purchase advice, is negatively associated with fund performance. A large sample of proprietary data from 2003–2014 support our findings, including but not limited to results from funds that invest only in the US, and funds that invest worldwide.
Keywords: Mutual Fund Flows, Mutual Fund Returns, Trailer Fees, Information Asymmetry
JEL Classification: G23, G30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation