The Timing and Stock Selection Abilities of Bank Funds: Evidence Based on Meta-Analysis

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This study investigates the risk-adjusted investment performance of the equity portfolios of bank trust departments, over the 1975–1992 period,attributable to their micro stock selection and macro market timing abilities. This paper first employs a widely known parametric statistical procedure developed by Henriksson and Merton to test jointly for the presence of either superior stock selection or market timing abilities. The paper then utilizes an alternative technique, called meta-analysis, to further examine the regression results obtained under the Henriksson–Merton m odel. The meta-analysis essentially eliminates such study artifacts as sampling and measurement errors through cumulation of results across studies. The findings of the joint test, based on the Henriksson–Merton model, do not support either superior stock selection abilities or market timing skills on the part of bank equity fund managers:selectivity measures are positive and timing measures are generally negative, but both measures are statistically insignificant. In contrast, the evidence based on the meta-analysis suggest that the managers of bank equity investment funds possess superior stock selection abilities and somewhat negative timing skills. Therefore, the results of this study suggest that, even though bank trust departments,like other categories of institutional investors, are unable to outperform a passive “buy and hold”investment strategy through timing the equity market, they are able to improve their investment performance through superior stock selection abilities.

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