Is Money Smart? - an Investigation of Mutual Fund Investor's Fund Selection Ability

33 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 1996

See all articles by Lu Zheng

Lu Zheng

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business

Date Written: December 1998

Abstract

With $2.1 trillion assets invested in mutual funds, investors spend enormous time and effort on selecting funds. Do investors in aggregate display fund selection ability? Gruber (1996) finds evidence to support selection ability among active mutual fund investors. Using a large sample of equity funds, my paper closely examines this Smart Money effect to determine its economic significance, and the potential reasons why it exists. I evaluate the performance of trading strategies based on fund flows using risk-adjusted returns as well as a performance measure conditioned upon changing economic conditions. The performance measures clearly indicate that investors purchasing and selling decisions are able to predict funds future performance. However, the trading strategies suggest that it is difficult to make significant excess profits by following the herd. Thus there is some evidence that informed investors are able to outperform the average fund consistently. There is marginal evidence that investors can beat the market.

What is the source of the Smart Money effect? An analysis using the Ferson and Schadt (1995) conditioning methods indicates that it is not due to responses to macro economic information, nor due to predictable style effects, but likely due to manager-specific information. This lends support to the regulatory policy of requiring broad disclosure of fund information, and suggests that investors, on average, act intelligently in making their share purchase decisions.

Keywords: Mutual Fund, Flow, Investment Ability, Performance

JEL Classification: G10, G23

Suggested Citation

Zheng, Lu, Is Money Smart? - an Investigation of Mutual Fund Investor's Fund Selection Ability (December 1998). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=7874 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.7874

Lu Zheng (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business ( email )

Paul Merage School of Business
Irvine, CA California 92697-3125
United States
9498248365 (Phone)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
818
Abstract Views
4,060
rank
31,739
PlumX Metrics