Mutual Fund Performance : An analysis of determinants of risk-adjusted performance for mutual equity funds available for Swedish investors

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Abstract: The mutual fund industry in Sweden has grown rapidly over the past years. Research has been made on the topic for over 50 years, however there are still uncertainties about the determinants of fund performance. The purpose of this study was to examine what determines the risk-adjusted performance of mutual equity funds available to Swedish investors.  A side-purpose was included to examine to what extent the Efficient Market Hypothesis holds in Sweden. A simple random sample was conducted where 500 equity funds were included. From Refinitiv/Thomson Reuters Eikon Datastream fund characteristics were downloaded. To find the abnormal return of mutual equity funds, a hybrid Fama-French Carhart factor model was used which includes both domestic Swedish factors and global factors. The model was used to calculate the yearly risk-adjusted performance for each fund using 12 months return. This was denominated Alpha which was used as the dependent variable in the regression models. Further, to determine the characteristics which affect risk-adjusted performance two multiple regression models with six independent variables and three control variables are constructed. Further, a one sample t-test was conducted to test the market efficiency for mutual funds available to Swedish investors. Eight statistical hypotheses were created and tested in which two found a significant result which were that alpha differs from zero and Total Expense Ratio determines the risk-adjusted performance.   To conclude, findings showed only the character Total Expense Ratio determines risk-adjusted performance of mutual equity funds available to Swedish investors. In conclusion the control variables year, geographical focus and currency affect the fund performance. The study is an interesting aspect for Swedish investors and fund managers since the study implies deeper knowledge about the mutual fund industry in Sweden and therefore should be concerned by the variable TER to earn abnormal returns. Further, the study contributes with a theoretical discussion in line with the results concerning Efficient Market Hypothesis, the Diversification Effect and Modern Portfolio Theory. Conclusions are drawn based on our result that the Efficient Market Hypothesis does hold in the Swedish fund market. Although only one character determines the risk-adjusted performance and average investor should choose funds that follow the market, based on the skill level of average investors.

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