Evaluating mutual funds on a small market: is benchmark selection crucial?

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This paper focuses on mutual fund performance analysis on a small market during a turbulent period. Firstly, we address the question of proper measures and benchmarks. A potentially critical issue on a small market concerns large market weights for individual stocks, which in combination with mutual fund legislation may prevent funds from following the index. Secondly, our investigation period was characterized by persistent bull and bear markets, which makes it interesting to investigate whether successful market timing was possible. Different measures of performance are compared and benchmark sensitivity is analysed with the help of various market timing and multiple index models, including benchmarks such as the FOX and HEX indices, a small-firm index, and a bond index. Contrary to many studies that record great benchmark sensitivity, we find markedly similar ranking for different benchmarks. Performance measures are also related to certain fund characteristics such as fund expenses, and fund size. We find that fund characteristics (especially fund expenses) are significantly related to fund performance, a relationship that may be used to increase the power of tests of fund performance.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalScandinavian Journal of Management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)67-84
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • performance evaluation
  • mutual funds
  • benchmark sensitivity


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