Sharpe (1966) in order to evaluate the risk-adjusted performance of mutual funds introduced the measure known as reward-to-variability ratio (Currently Sharpe Ratio). With the help of this ratio he evaluated the return of 34 open-end mutual funds in the period 1945-1963. The results showed that to a major extent the capital market was highly efficient due to which majority of the sample had lower performance as compared to the Dow Jones Index. Sharpe (1966) found that from 1954 to 1963 only 11 funds outperformed the Dow-Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) while 23 funds were outperformed by the DJIA. Study concluded that the mutual funds were inferior investments during the period. Results also showed that good managers concentrate on evaluating risk and providing diversification.

Jensen (1968) developed own measure known as Jensen’s Alpha to examine the risk- portfolios’ risk-adjusted performance and estimate the predictive ability of mutual fund managers. The measure was based on the theory of the pricing of capital assets. For this purpose a sample of 115 open end mutual funds (for which net asset and dividend information was available) was taken for the period 1955-1964. After applying the Jensen measure he concluded that stock prices could not be forecasted accurately with the help of mutual funds therefore buy and hold strategy could not be used to take any advantage. Similarly there is slight evidence that an individual mutual fund can achieve returns higher than a portfolio comprised of randomly selected shares.

Carlson (1970) conducted a research to analyze the predictive value of past results in forecasting future performance of mutual funds for the period 1948-1667. The author also examined the efficiency of market and identified the factors related to the fund performance. First of all he constructed indices for three types of mutual funds (Diversified common stock, Balanced, Income) and compared these indices with the market indices. In order to analyze the performance regression was used. The results provide empirical support to the return-risk postulate of the capital asset pricing model and concluded that whether mutual funds outperform the market depends on the selection of both the time period and market proxy. The author also concluded that past performance showed little predictive value and that the performance was positively related to the availability of new cash resources for investment purposes.

Arditti (1971) criticized the reward-to-variability criterion proposed by Sharpe (1966) on the grounds that it utilized only the first two moments of the probability distribution of returns. Author proposed that the third moment, a measure of the direction and size of the distribution’s tail, be included in the analysis.  Arditti (1971) further argued that investors preferred positive skewness because positive skewness implied greater probability of higher return. Therefore assets with relatively low reward-to-variability ratios would not be inferior investments if ratios also have relatively high third moments (high positive skewness). Furthermore author reexamined the Sharpe (1966) data with this additional requirement and found that average fund performance was not inferior to Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) performance because the skewness of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) return distribution was significantly less than fund skewness.

Mcdonald (1973) developed a model to evaluate the investment performance of funds holding securities in two countries. For this purpose a sample of eight of the oldest French mutual funds was taken. The monthly returns of these funds were calculated and analyzed for the period 1964-1969. The results showed that the funds generally produced superior risk-adjusted returns and that the French market was inefficient with respect to the completeness and speed of dissemination of information. The author concluded that those funds which invested in the French market in 1964-69 generally achieved lower return at a given level of variance than that reflected in the U.S. market returns. Mcdonald (1973) also found that the funds were generally able to attain superior returns relative to naive portfolio strategy.

McDonald (1974) conducted a research to examine the objectives and performance (risk and return) of American mutual funds in the period 1960-1669. Sample of 123 American mutual funds was analyzed by using Treynor (1965) and Sharpe (1966) indexes. The results indicated that stated objectives were significantly related to subsequent measures of systematic risk and total variability. Therefore the funds with aggressive objectives generally produced better performance. The results also showed that 67 funds perform better than the stock market average in case of Treynor’s (1965) index while in case of Sharpe’s (1966) index only 39 mutual funds showed higher performance than the stock market average. The author concluded that Average fund return increases with increase in risk.

Miller and Nicholas (1980) conducted a research to examine the risk-return relationships in the presence of nonstationarity in order to obtain more precise estimates of alpha and beta. For this purpose this study applied partition regression and a partition selection rule for estimating the traditional CAPM in case of nonstationarity. Study applied these procedures to price appreciation data for the market and 28 mutual funds for the period of 1973-1974. The results indicated a good deal of noncosistency in the risk-return relationships. The results showed some weak positive relationships and some weak negative relationships between betas and the rate of return for the market. On the other hand results showed some weak positive relationships and some weak negative relationships between betas and alphas. However, no general, statistically significant relationships of either type were found.

In order to analyze the market-timing performance of mutual funds a study was conducted by Henriksson (1984). For this purpose a sample of 116 open-end mutual funds from February 1968 to June1980 was taken.  By using parametric and nonparametric techniques author examined the performance of these open-end mutual funds using monthly data. The returns data included all dividends paid by the fund and were net of all management costs and fees. Both the parametric and nonparametric tests showed that mutual fund managers were unable to follow a successful investment strategy. The results also showed that no evidence was found that forecasters were more successful in the market-timing activity with respect to predicting large changes in the value of the market portfolio relative to smaller changes.

Ippolito (1989) conducted a research to analyze the efficiency in capital markets when information is costly to obtain. Sample of 143 mutual funds were reported in the 1965 edition of Wiesenberger. The analysis was done for the period of 1965-1984. Ippolito (1989) employed CAPM model and made a comparison of results to those reported in Jenson (1968). The results showed that Risk-adjusted returns in the mutual fund industry, net of fees and expenses, were comparable to returns available in index funds. Results also indicated that portfolio turnover and management fees were unrelated to fund performance. The researcher concluded that mutual funds with higher turnover fees and expenses, earn rates of return sufficiently high to offset the higher charges. Research also concluded that the mutual funds were efficient in the trading and information-gathering activities.

A research was conducted by Cumby and Jack (1990) to compare the performance of internationally diversified mutual funds with international equity index and Morgan Stanley Index for the United States. In this study a sample of fifteen U.S.-based internationally diversified mutual funds between 1982 and 1988 was used. The performance was then compared with the help of Jensen (1968) measure and Positive Period Weighting Measure. The results concluded that the performance of funds individually or as a whole was not higher than the performance of international equity index. The authors also examined the performance of the funds relative to the Morgan Stanley index for the United States and found some evidence that the funds outperform the U.S. index.

Grinblatt and Sheridan (1992) conducted a research to analyze whether mutual fund performance relates to past performance. For this purpose a sample of 279 funds was taken. Study divided the sample into two five year sub periods and calculated the abnormal returns of each fund for each five year sub period. Similarly the slope coefficient of abnormal returns was computed in a cross-sectional regression. The results indicated a positive persistence in mutual fund performance and fund managers were able to earn abnormal returns. Therefore study concluded that the past performance of a fund provides useful information for investors who were considering an investment in mutual funds.

A research was conducted by Martin et al. (1993) to examine the performance of bond mutual funds. Samples of bond fund: first sample was designed to eliminate survivorship bias and was comprised of the 46 non-municipal bond funds for the 10-year period from the beginning of 1979 to the end of 1988. The second sample consisted of all bond funds that existed at the end of 1991. Researcher used linear and nonlinear models in order to examine the two samples. The results showed that bond funds underperform relevant indexes post expenses.

Malkiel (1995) conducted a research to analyze the performance of equity mutual funds for the period 1971 to 1991. For this purpose study involved a data set that included the returns from all mutual funds in existence in each year of the period. After analyzing the returns from all funds he found that mutual funds underperformed the market. Survivorship bias was considered to be the important part of the analysis. Study also examined the fund returns in the context of the capital asset pricing framework and neither found any evidence of excess return nor observed any risk return relationship stated by the capital asset pricing model. Study concluded that it was better for the investors to purchase a low expense index fund than to select an active fund manager.

Cai et al. (1996) evaluated the performance of Japanese open-type equity funds from 1981 to 1992. For this purpose a sample of 800 open-type mutual funds run by 9 management companies was taken. Two benchmarks (value-weighted single-index benchmark and three-factor benchmark) were used in the analysis. This research used Jensen Measure, Positive Period Weighting (PPW) Measure and Conditional Jensen Measure in order to evaluate the performance of these funds. The results showed that value-weighted and equal-weighted portfolios of 800 mutual funds underperform the single-index benchmark by approximately 7.0% and 6.0%. The results also showed that most of the funds were inclined to invest more in large stocks.

Otten and Dennis (1999) analyzed the performance of European mutual funds from 1991 through December 1998. Study also investigated the performance of fund managers along with the influence of fund characteristics on risk-adjusted performance. For this purpose a sample of 506 funds was taken and 4-factor model was used. The results indicated that the European mutual funds especially small cap funds were able to add value and 4 out of 5 countries exhibit significant outperformance at an aggregate level. The results also revealed positive relation between risk-adjusted return and fund size and negative relation between risk-adjusted and funds’ expense ratio.

Redman (2000) analyzed the risk adjusted returns for five portfolios of international mutual funds. The study was conducted for three periods: 1985-1994, 1985-1989, and 1990-1994. The performance was measured by using Treynor (1965) Index Sharpe (1966)’s Index and Jensen’s Alpha and comparison was made with the U. S. market. Results showed that under Sharpe (1966)’s and Treynor (1965) indices the performance of portfolios of international mutual funds was higher than the U. S. market from 1985-1994 and 1985-1989. On the other hand performance of U.S equity portfolio and the market index was higher than global portfolios from 1990-1994.

Stehle and Olaf (2001) conducted a research to evaluate the open-ended mutual funds risk-adjusted performance. Study used a data set that included all German funds sold to the public in 1972. The research analyzed covers the time period of 1973 to 1998. DAX, which included the 30 largest German stocks and DAX100, which included the 100 largest German stocks were used as benchmarks for comparison. First of all researchers examined the rates of return of individual funds with the help of Sharpe (1966) and Jensen measures and then applied the same measures to evaluate the unweighted average rates of return of all funds. In case of the rates of return of individual funds, results showed that the funds underperform the appropriate benchmarks by approximately 1.5 % per year. On the other hand underperformance was reduced by 40 % in case of unweighted average rates of return. Study also concluded that the large German stock mutual funds, on the average, performed better than the small ones.

A study was conducted by Otten, and Mark (2002) to compare the performance of European mutual fund industry with performance of United States fund industry. Sample of 506 European open-ended mutual funds and 2096 American open-ended mutual funds was taken from January 1991 to December 19979. Study was restricted the sample to purely domestic equity funds with at least 24 months of data. Results also indicated that European mutual funds had on average a better performance than the American counterparts and that the small cap mutual funds in both Europe and the United States outperformed the benchmark and all other mutual funds.

Noulas, John and John (2005) evaluated the risk adjusted performance of Greek equity funds during the period 1997-2000. This study is based on weekly data for equity mutual funds and includes 23 equity funds that existed for the whole period under consideration. Mutual funds were ranked on the techniques used by Treynor (1965), Sharpe (1966) and Jensen. Results showed positive returns of the stock market for the first three years and negative returns for the fourth year. The results also indicated that the beta of all funds is smaller than 1 for four-year period. The authors concluded that the equity funds have neither the same risk nor the same return. The investor needs to know the long-term behavior of mutual funds in order to make the right investment decision.

Leite and Cortez (2006) conducted a research to analyze the impact of using conditioning information in evaluating the performance of mutual funds. For this purpose two different samples of Portuguese-owned open end equity funds were built, over the period of June 2000 to June 2004. The first sample contained surviving 24 funds (10 National funds and 14 European Union funds) at the end of June 2004. While the second sample included all surviving and 20 non-surviving funds during the sample period. Both conditional and unconditional models were used to evaluate the performance. The results of unconditional model indicated that the performance of National funds was neutral while the performance of European Union funds was negative. On the other hand conditional models suggested that conditional betas (but not alphas) are time-varying and dependent on the dividend yield variable.

Boudreaux and Suzanne (2007) conducted a study to examine the risk adjusted returns of international mutual funds for the period of 2000-2006. For this purpose a sample of ten portfolios of international mutual fund was taken and risk-adjusted performance was calculated by using Sharpe (1966)’s Index of Reward to Variability ratio. US market of mutual funds was taken as the benchmark. The results showed that the performance of nine out of ten of the international mutual fund was higher than the U.S. market. Those portfolios which contained only U.S stock mutual funds underperform on a risk adjusted the funds that contained all international mutual funds. The authors concluded that Investors may not fully take advantage of possible portfolio risk reduction and higher returns if international mutual funds were excluded.

Arugaslan and Ajay (2008) examined the risk-adjusted performance of US-based international equity funds from 1994-2003. The analysis was done for five-year period 1999-2003 and ten-year period 1994-2003.  For this a sample of 50 large US-based international equity funds was taken and a new method of measurement Modigliani and Modigliani (M squared) was applied. The performance was compared with both domestic and international benchmark indices. The results showed that the risk has great impact on the attractiveness of Funds. Higher return funds may loose attractiveness due to higher risk while the lower return funds may be attractive to investors due to the lower risk.

Dietze, Oliver and Macro (2009) conducted a research to evaluate the risk-adjusted performance of European investment grade corporate bond mutual funds. Sample of 19 investment-grade corporate bond funds was used for the period of 5 years (July 2000 – June 2005). Funds were evaluated on the basis of single-index model and several multi-index and asset-class-factor models. Both maturity-based indices and rating based indices were used to account for the risk and return characteristics of investment grade corporate bond funds. The results indicated that the corporate bond funds, on average, underperformed the benchmark portfolios and there was not a single fund exhibiting a significant positive performance. Results also indicated that the risk-adjusted performance of larger and older funds, and funds charging lower fees was higher.


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