Incentive Fees and Mutual Funds

Posted: 18 Sep 2003

See all articles by Edwin J. Elton

Edwin J. Elton

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Martin J. Gruber

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Christopher R. Blake

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business

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Abstract

This paper examines the effect of incentive fees on the behavior of mutual fund managers. Funds with incentive fees exhibit positive stock selection ability, but a beta less than one results in funds not earning positive fees. From an investor's perspective, positive alphas plus lower expense ratios make incentive-fee funds attractive. However, incentive-fee funds take on more risk than non-incentive-fee funds, and they increase risk after a period of poor performance. Incentive fees are useful marketing tools, since more new cash flows go into incentive-fee funds than into non-incentive-fee funds, ceteris paribus.

Suggested Citation

Elton, Edwin J. and Gruber, Martin J. and Blake, Christopher R., Incentive Fees and Mutual Funds. Journal of Finance, Vol. 58, pp. 779-804, April 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=416664

Edwin J. Elton (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Ste 9-190
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0361 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

Martin J. Gruber

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Ste 9-190
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0333 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

Christopher R. Blake

Fordham University - Gabelli School of Business ( email )

113 West 60th Street
Lowenstein Building
New York, NY 10023
United States
212-636-6750 (Phone)

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