Mutual funds grant retail investors access to professional asset management and facilitate exposure to financial markets. The academic literature and regulators have traditionally focused on issues such as portfolio diversification, performance, liquidity, and management fees in attempts to analyze and improve market efficiency. Scarce attention has been paid to market risk management. There is unanimity on this issue throughout the world. The lack of regulatory attention creates a gap, which is partially covered by mutual fund rating agents and asset management analysts. Those agents base their ratings on various rating methodologies — which engenders a wide array of difficulties, especially for retail investors. We employ proprietary data on historic mutual fund ratings in Israel and show that retail investors do not necessarily benefit from this diversity of opinions. Furthermore, we find that the voluntary implementation of quantitative risk measurement techniques by certain mutual funds tends to be associated with fewer outflows and greater inflows in these funds. Interestingly, the application of (backward-looking) value-at-risk analysis is associated with fewer outflows, while (forward-looking) stress-testing techniques are associated with greater inflows. Given the similarity of mutual fund industry environments across the globe, our results have worldwide applicability.
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V.
- Mutual fund flows
- Mutual fund industry regulation