Changing Names with Style: Mutual Fund Name Changes and Their Effects on Fund Flows
Posted: 1 Dec 2004
We examine whether mutual funds change their names to take advantage of current hot investment styles, and what effects these name changes have on inflows to the funds, and to the funds' subsequent returns. We find that the year after a fund changes its name to reflect a current hot style, the fund experiences an average cumulative abnormal flow of 28 percent, with no improvement in performance. The increase in flows is similar across funds whose holdings match the style implied by their new name and those whose holdings do not, suggesting that investors are irrationally influenced by cosmetic effects.
Keywords: Name changes, market efficiency, cosmetic effects, mutual fund flows
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