Diane Del Guercio

Lundquist College of Business
1208 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1208

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2011Mutual Fund Performance and the Incentive to Generate Alpha
with Jonathan Reuter: w17491
Financial economists have long been puzzled by investor demand for actively managed funds that generate, on average, negative after-fee, risk-adjusted returns. To shed new light on this puzzle, we exploit the fact that funds in different market segments compete for different types of retail investors. Within the segment of funds marketed directly to retail investors, we find that flows chase risk-adjusted returns, and that funds respond by investing more in active management. Importantly, within this direct-sold segment, we find little evidence that actively managed funds underperform index funds. In contrast, within the segment of funds sold through brokers, which we demonstrate face a weaker incentive to generate alpha, we find that actively managed funds significantly underperform in...

Published: Del Guercio, Diane, and Jonathan Reuter, 2014, "Mutual Fund Performance and the Incentive to Generate Alpha," Journal of Finance 69(4): 1673-1704. citation courtesy of

August 2010Broker Incentives and Mutual Fund Market Segmentation
with Jonathan Reuter, Paula A. Tkac: w16312
We study the impact of investor heterogeneity on mutual fund market segmentation. To motivate our empirical analysis, we make two assumptions. First, some investors inherently value broker services. Second, because brokers are only compensated when they sell mutual funds, they have little incentive to recommend funds available at lower cost elsewhere. The need for mutual fund families to internalize broker incentives leads us to predict that the market for mutual funds will be highly segmented, with families targeting either do-it-yourself investors or investors who value broker services, but not both. Using novel distribution channel data, we find strong empirical support for this prediction; only 3.3% of families serve both market segments. We also predict and find strong evidence that ...
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