What Should Investors Care About? Mutual Fund Ratings by Analysts vs. Machine Learning Technique
76 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2020 Last revised: 8 Mar 2022
Date Written: March 7, 2022
We examine two forward-looking mutual fund ratings: the analyst rating produced by human analysts and the quantitative rating generated by a machine learning technique. The analyst rating identifies outperforming funds, while the quantitative rating does not—this difference derives mostly from the selection of analyst coverage. Moreover, the tone of the analyst report contains incremental soft information predicting fund performance. Finally, retail investors do not follow analyst recommendations; instead, they chase the quantitative rating. Our results highlight the importance of mutual fund analysts in information production and imply a capital misallocation problem in mutual fund investment.
Keywords: Analyst Rating, Quantitative Rating, Mutual Funds, Information Provision, Fund Flows, Machine Learning
JEL Classification: G11, G23
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