US Mutual Fund Turnover and Returns, 1991-2020

9 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2021

Date Written: December 10, 2021


Using data from Morningstar, we analyze holdings turnover and its relationship to gross returns within the main equity categories of actively-managed US-domiciled mutual funds from 1991 to 2020.

We find turnover to be highly positive skewed and also highly persistent across years. However, we find no reliable relationship between fund turnover and any of prior-year, same-year or next-year gross annual returns. What appears to be a slight negative relationship between current turnover and prior returns is inconsistent across the four different categories and across decades, and any other relationships between turnover and returns are similarly not borne out consistently across the various categories or time. Over this period, high turnover does not hurt fund performance. Nor, however, does it enhance performance.

Keywords: Mutual Fund Turnover

JEL Classification: G10, G11

Suggested Citation

Hochachka, Gene, US Mutual Fund Turnover and Returns, 1991-2020 (December 10, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Gene Hochachka (Contact Author)

Frontier Financial Inc. ( email )

10721 Saint Gabriel School Road
Edmonton, Alberta T6A 3S7
(780) 469-6694 (Phone)

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