Paper Mutual Fund Performance and Flows during the COVID-19 Crisis
We present a comprehensive analysis of the performance and flows of U.S. actively managed equity mutual funds during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. We find that most active funds underperform passive benchmarks during the crisis, contradicting a popular hypothesis. Funds with high sustainability ratings perform well, as do funds with high star ratings. Fund outflows surpass precrisis trends, but not dramatically. Investors favor funds that apply exclusion criteria and funds with high sustainability ratings, especially environmental ones. Our finding that investors remain focused on sustainability during this major crisis suggests they view sustainability as a necessity rather than a luxury good.
Published in: Review of Asset Pricing Studies
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