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Managerial Finance

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We propose a new measure of portfolio activity, the Modified Turnover, which represents the portion of the portfolio that the manager changes from one quarter to the next. Compared with the traditional turnover, our Modified Turnover measure relies on portfolio holdings and takes into account the effects of offsetting trades and fund flows on portfolio turnover. We find evidence that high Modified Turnover predicts lower performance. The comparison between the highest and lowest quintiles sorted based on Modified Turnover reveals a difference of -2.41% in the annual risk-adjusted return. Furthermore, high Modified Turnover predicts lower net flows. We also find that Modified Turnover relates positively to other activeness measures while volatility, flows, size, number of stocks, and the expense ratio are significant determinants of Modified Turnover. Overall, our results suggest that frequent churning of a portfolio is value-destroying for investors and signals a manager’s lack of skill.


This is an author-accepted version of an article published in Managerial Finance. The final published version can be found at

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Citation of this paper:

Claudia Champagne, Aymen Karoui, Saurin Patel, (2018) "Portfolio turnover activity and mutual fund performance", Managerial Finance, Vol. 44 Issue: 3, pp.326-356,

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