Finance Seminars

The Discipline of Finance seminar organiser is Andrew Ainsworth

Seminars will typically be held 11:30am - 12:30pm on Fridays in Room 214/215 of the Economics and Business Building.

Upcoming Seminars

7th Aug 2015 - 11:30 am

Venue: Rm 214/215 Economics & Business Bldg H69

Speaker: A/Prof Jaewon Choi, College of Business University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IL, USA

Title: Reaching for yield or playing it safe? Risk Taking by Bond Mutual Funds

Abstract: In a low-interest-rate environment, bond mutual funds may have a strong incentive to hold bonds with higher yields compared with their benchmarks (“reaching for yield”) in order to attract more inflows. This paper investigates reaching for yield among corporate bond mutual funds. We find that the main vehicle for reaching for yield is non-AAA investment-grade bonds. Funds engage in negative reaching for yield (“playing it safe”) with both AAA-rated and high-yield bonds. Funds reach for yield more when the level and slope of the yield curve are low and when the default spread is narrow. In the cross section, young and large funds with high expense ratios engage in reaching for yield to a greater extent. We also find that when funds change their portfolios to increase reaching for yield, they experience increased flows, indicating that investors respond positively to this behavior. Funds that engage in reaching for yield generate relatively higher returns, but their superior performance is explained by common risk factors and thus driven mainly by risk-taking rather than skill.


11.30am – 12.30pm
Rm 214/215 Economics & Business Bldg. H69
The University of Sydney Business School


Andrew Ainsworth
T +61 2 9036 7992