Unencumbered by Style: Why do Funds Change Factor Loadings and Does it Help?
63 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2022 Last revised: 6 Nov 2023
Date Written: November 3, 2023
We show that active equity funds deliberately alter their factor loadings rather than maintaining a constant style. Changes are larger following quarters in which funds either under- or out-perform other funds based on returns or fund flows. Motivated by this observation, we identify a new measure of manager skill, which we call ``tactical investment skill.'' It captures a manager’s ex-ante observable ability to increase future returns through loadings changes. We show that high-skill managers outperform their low-skill peers in the following month in terms of raw returns and alphas. This outperformance is more pronounced following quarters with large loadings changes.
Keywords: Mutual fund style, style changes, active fund management, manager skill, factor timing, tactical investment skill
JEL Classification: G10, G20, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation