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Mutual Fund Trades: Timing Sentiment and Managing Tracking Error Variance

Cullen, G., Gasbarro, D., Monroe, G.S. and Zumwalt, J.K. (2012) Mutual Fund Trades: Timing Sentiment and Managing Tracking Error Variance. In: 25th Annual Australasian Finance and Banking Conference, 16 - 18 December, Sydney, Australia

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We use portfolio holdings to show that mutual funds preferentially trade stocks according to the stocks‟ sentiment betas. Stocks with high sentiment betas are more responsive to investor sentiment and increase (decrease) in value as sentiment increases (decreases). Sentiment-based trades may be motivated by the opportunity to increase fund returns through timing predictability in sentiment, or by management of portfolio risk. Sentiment is mean-reverting, but its level and recent change only partially explain these trades. In contrast, 30 percent of sentiment-based trades are explained by the initial sentiment beta of funds that trade to reduce their tracking error variance.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
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