The Impact of Mutual Fund Family Membership on Investor Risk

33 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2004  

Edwin J. Elton

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

T. Clifton Green

Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Martin J. Gruber

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2005

Abstract

Many investors confine their mutual fund holdings to a single fund family, either for simplicity or through restrictions placed by their retirement savings plan. We find evidence that mutual fund returns are more closely correlated within than between fund families. As a result, restricting investment to one fund family leads to a greater total portfolio risk than diversifying across fund families. The increased correlation is due primarily to common stock holdings, but is also more generally related to families having similar exposures to economic sectors or industries. Fund families also show a propensity to focus on high risk or low risk strategies, which leads to a greater dispersion of risk across restricted investors. An investor considering adding an additional fund either inside or outside the family would need to believe the inside fund offered an additional 50 to 70 basis points in return to achieve the same Sharpe ratio.

JEL Classification: G1

Suggested Citation

Elton, Edwin J. and Green, T. Clifton and Gruber, Martin J., The Impact of Mutual Fund Family Membership on Investor Risk (February 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=562441 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.562441

Edwin J. Elton

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

44 West 4th Street
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T. Clifton Green (Contact Author)

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30322-2710
United States
404-727-5167 (Phone)
404-727-5238 (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)

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