Mutual Fund Performance: Evidence from the UK

David Blake¹ and Allan Timmermann²

¹Pensions Institute, Birkbeck College, University of London
²University of California, San Diego*


This paper uses a large sample containing the complete return histories
of 2300 UK open-ended mutual funds over a 23-year period to measure
fund performance. We find some evidence of underperformance on a
risk-adjusted basis by the average fund manager, persistence of performance
and the existence of a substantial survivor bias. Similar findings have been
reported for US equity mutual funds. New findings not previously documented
for other markets include evidence that mutual fund performance varies
substantially across different asset categories, especially foreign asset
categories. We also identify some new patterns in performance related to the
funds’ distance from their inception and termination dates: underperformance
intensifies as the fund termination date approaches, while, in contrast, there
is some evidence that funds (weakly) outperform during their first year
of existence.

* We would like to thank Micropal’s Development Director, John Richardson,
for his help in providing us with the data set used in this analysis. Two
anonymous referees provided numerous thoughtful suggestions for
improvements on the paper.

ISSN 1367-580x.

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