The Journal of Finance

The Journal of Finance publishes leading research across all the major fields of finance. It is one of the most widely cited journals in academic finance, and in all of economics. Each of the six issues per year reaches over 8,000 academics, finance professionals, libraries, and government and financial institutions around the world. The journal is the official publication of The American Finance Association, the premier academic organization devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics.

AFA members can log in to view full-text articles below.

View past issues

Search the Journal of Finance:

Search results: 11.

The Persistence of Mutual Fund Performance

Published: December 1992   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1992.tb04692.x


This paper analyzes how mutual fund performance relates to past performance. These tests are based on a multiple portfolio benchmark that was formed on the basis of securities characteristics. We find evidence that differences in performance between funds persist over time and that this persistence is consistent with the ability of fund managers to earn abnormal returns.

Approximate Factor Structures: Interpretations and Implications for Empirical Tests

Published: December 1985   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1985.tb02388.x


This paper provides some new insights about approximate factor structures, as defined by Chamberlain and Rothschild [2], and their implications for empirical tests. First, we show that any economy that satisfies an approximate factor structure can be transformed, in a manner that does not alter the characteristics of investor portfolios, into an economy that satisfies an exact factor structure, as defined by Ross [9]. Second, we show that principal components analysis represents just one of many methods of forming groups of well‐diversified portfolios with no idiosyncratic risk in large samples. Correct factor loadings will be obtained by regressing security returns on any group of these portfolios. Our interpretations of the Chamberlain and Rothschild results also provide additional insights into the testability of the Arbitrage Pricing Theory. We show that securities cannot be repackaged to hide factors in the manner suggested by Shanken [10] without the variance of some of the repackaged securities approaching infinity in large economies.

Do Industries Explain Momentum?

Published: 12/17/2002   |   DOI: 10.1111/0022-1082.00146

Tobias J. Moskowitz, Mark Grinblatt

This paper documents a strong and prevalent momentum effect in industry components of stock returns which accounts for much of the individual stock momentum anomaly. Specifically, momentum investment strategies, which buy past winning stocks and sell past losing stocks, are significantly less profitable once we control for industry momentum. By contrast, industry momentum investment strategies, which buy stocks from past winning industries and sell stocks from past losing industries, appear highly profitable, even after controlling for size, book‐to‐market equity, individual stock momentum, the cross‐sectional dispersion in mean returns, and potential microstructure influences.

Sensation Seeking, Overconfidence, and Trading Activity

Published: 03/13/2009   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2009.01443.x


This study analyzes the role that two psychological attributes—sensation seeking and overconfidence—play in the tendency of investors to trade stocks. Equity trading data from Finland are combined with data from investor tax filings, driving records, and mandatory psychological profiles. We use these data, obtained from a large population, to construct measures of overconfidence and sensation seeking tendencies. Controlling for a host of variables, including wealth, income, age, number of stocks owned, marital status, and occupation, we find that overconfident investors and those investors most prone to sensation seeking trade more frequently.

Financial Innovation and the Role of Derivative Securities: An Empirical Analysis of the Treasury STRIPS Program

Published: 12/17/2002   |   DOI: 10.1111/0022-1082.00252

Mark Grinblatt, Francis A. Longstaff

The role that financial innovation plays in financial markets is very controversial. To provide insight into this role, we examine how market participants use the highly successful Treasury STRIPS program. We find that investors use the option to create Treasury‐derivative STRIPS primarily to make markets more complete and take advantage of tax and accounting asymmetries. Although liquidity‐related factors help explain differences in the prices of Treasury bonds and STRIPS, we find little evidence that the option to strip and reconstitute securities is used for speculative or arbitrage‐related purposes.

Relative Pricing of Eurodollar Futures and Forward Contracts

Published: September 1996   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1996.tb04077.x


Past research explains observed spreads between futures and forward Eurodollar yields as being due to the futures contract's mark‐to‐market feature. We derive closed form solutions for this yield spread and show that, theoretically, it should be small. Also, differences in liquidity, taxation, and default risk cannot account for the large spreads observed. We also present evidence that the spreads, which are nonnegligible primarily in the first half of the sample period, are likely to be attributable to the mispricing of futures contracts relative to the forward rates and that the mispricing was gradually eliminated over time.

What Makes Investors Trade?

Published: 12/17/2002   |   DOI: 10.1111/0022-1082.00338

Mark Grinblatt, Matti Keloharju

A unique data set allows us to monitor the buys, sells, and holds of individuals and institutions in the Finnish stock market on a daily basis. With this data set, we employ Logit regressions to identify the determinants of buying and selling activity over a two‐year period. We find evidence that investors are reluctant to realize losses, that they engage in tax‐loss selling activity, and that past returns and historical price patterns, such as being at a monthly high or low, affect trading. There also is modest evidence that life‐cycle trading plays a role in the pattern of buys and sells.

How Distance, Language, and Culture Influence Stockholdings and Trades

Published: 12/17/2002   |   DOI: 10.1111/0022-1082.00355

Mark Grinblatt, Matti Keloharju

This paper documents that investors are more likely to hold, buy, and sell the stocks of Finnish firms that are located close to the investor, that communicate in the investor's native tongue, and that have chief executives of the same cultural background. The influence of distance, language, and culture is less prominent among the most investment‐savvy institutions than among both households and less savvy institutions. Regression analysis indicates that the marginal effect of distance is less for firms that are more nationally known, for distances that exceed 100 kilometers, and for investors with more diversified portfolios.

IQ and Stock Market Participation

Published: 11/14/2011   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2011.01701.x


Stock market participation is monotonically related to IQ, controlling for wealth, income, age, and other demographic and occupational information. The high correlation between IQ and participation exists even among the affluent. Supplemental data from siblings, studied with an instrumental variables approach and regressions that control for family effects, demonstrate that IQ's influence on participation extends to females and does not arise from omitted familial and nonfamilial variables. High‐IQ investors are more likely to hold mutual funds and larger numbers of stocks, experience lower risk, and earn higher Sharpe ratios. We discuss implications for policy and finance research.

Signalling and the Pricing of New Issues

Published: June 1989   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1989.tb05063.x


This paper develops a signalling model with two signals, two attributes, and a continuum of signal levels and attribute types to explain new issue underpricing. Both the fraction of the new issue retained by the issuer and its offering price convey to investors the unobservable “intrinsic” value of the firm and the variance of its cash flows. Many of the model's comparative statics results are novel, empirically testable, and consistent with the existing empirical evidence on new issues. In particular, the degree of underpricing, which can be inferred from observable variables, is positively related to the firm's post‐issue share price.

Measuring Mutual Fund Performance with Characteristic‐Based Benchmarks

Published: 04/18/2012   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.1997.tb02724.x


This article develops and applies new measures of portfolio performance which use benchmarks based on the characteristics of stocks held by the portfolios that are evaluated. Specifically, the benchmarks are constructed from the returns of 125 passive portfolios that are matched with stocks held in the evaluated portfolio on the basis of the market capitalization, book‐to‐market, and prior‐year return characteristics of those stocks. Based on these benchmarks, “Characteristic Timing” and “Characteristic Selectivity” measures are developed that detect, respectively, whether portfolio managers successfully time their portfolio weightings on these characteristics and whether managers can select stocks that outperform the average stock having the same characteristics. We apply these measures to a new database of mutual fund holdings covering over 2500 equity funds from 1975 to 1994. Our results show that mutual funds, particularly aggressive‐growth funds, exhibit some selectivity ability, but that funds exhibit no characteristic timing ability.