Fund Names vs. Family Names: Implications for Mutual Fund Flows

46 Pages Posted: 4 May 2020 Last revised: 29 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sadok El Ghoul

Sadok El Ghoul

University of Alberta - Campus Saint-Jean

Aymen Karoui

York University

Date Written: April 7, 2020


An emerging literature has shown that investors are sensitive to mutual fund names. Using a sample of US equity funds over the period 1993-2017, we provide evidence that funds with a name closer to the family’s name attract more flow and display a stronger performance-flow relationship. This name bias is stronger among old and large fund families, and retail funds. Our results are in line with the literature on social biases and costly searches, and show that seemingly innocuous differences in fund attributes – such as fund names – translate into significant differences in investor decisions.

Keywords: Mutual Fund Flows, Fund Names, Behavioral Biases, Fund Families

JEL Classification: G02, G11, G23

Suggested Citation

El Ghoul, Sadok and Karoui, Aymen, Fund Names vs. Family Names: Implications for Mutual Fund Flows (April 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Sadok El Ghoul (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Campus Saint-Jean ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
780-465-8725 (Phone)
780-465-8760 (Fax)

Aymen Karoui

York University ( email )

2275, avenue Bayview
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M6

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