University of Notre Dame
238 Mendoza College of Business
Institutional Affiliation: Mendoza College of Business
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2019||Don’t Take Their Word For It: The Misclassification of Bond Mutual Funds|
with Lauren Cohen, Umit Gurun: w26423
We provide evidence that mutual fund managers misclassify their holdings, and that these misclassifications have a real and significant impact on investor capital flows. In particular, we provide the first systematic study of bond funds’ reported asset profiles to Morningstar against their actual portfolios. Many funds report more investment grade assets than are actually held in their portfolios, making these funds appear significantly less risky. This results in pervasive misclassifications across the universe of US fixed income mutual funds by Morningstar, who relies on these reported holdings. The problem is widespread- resulting in about 30% of funds being misclassified with safer profiles, when compared against their actual, publicly reported holdings. “Misclassified funds” – i.e., t...
|July 2018||IQ from IP: Simplifying Search in Portfolio Choice|
with Lauren Cohen, Umit Gurun, Dong Lou, Christopher Malloy: w24801
Using a novel database that tracks web traffic on the SEC’s EDGAR server between 2004 and 2015, we show that institutional investors gather information on a very particular subset of firms and insiders, and their surveillance is very persistent over time. This tracking behavior has powerful implications for their portfolio choice, and its information content. An institution that downloaded an insider-trading filing by a given firm last quarter increases its likelihood of downloading an insider-trading filing on the same firm by more than 41.3% this quarter. Moreover, the average tracked stock that an institution buys generates annualized alphas of over 12% relative to the purchase of an average non-tracked stock. We find that institutional managers tend to track members of the top manageme...