Incentive Fees and Mutual Fund Volatility Timing
46 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2005 Last revised: 5 Aug 2008
Date Written: 2007
This paper shows that compensation incentives partly drive fund managers' market volatility timing strategies. Larger management fees are associated with less counter-cyclical or more pro-cyclical volatility timing. Fund investment objectives and styles also partly determine volatility timing. Funds with more aggressive styles time volatility more counter-cyclically. Thus, managers may try to outperform the general market by adopting aggressive styles, while dynamically hedging portfolio volatility using counter-cyclical volatility timing. We also find that fund managers systematically change their portfolio betas in response to aggregate equity fund cash flows. The average effects of volatility timing and fund flow timing on fund performance are mostly positive for funds that increase their betas when conditional volatility and fund flows increase (i.e., pro-cyclical timers).
Keywords: mutual fund, volatility timing, incentive fee
JEL Classification: G11, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation