This study examines family-level risk taking behavior from the perspective of the strategic choice of risk. We examine whether family-level risk taking tendency is affected by a fund family’s flow tournament position in the mutual fund industry. We use family-level excess fund flow, which is defined by the gap between the actual net flows and expected net flows of a fund family, to proxy for its interim fund-flow tournament position. A fund family is an interim winner (loser) if it experiences better (worse) than expected net flows. Two measures are used to proxy for risk taking strategy: (1) Active Share; and (2) the Standard Deviation of Fund Holdings at Family Level. Overall, we conclude that fund families classified as interim losers and top interim winners in a net flow tournament position exhibit risk taking propensities. Bottom dwellers increase risk for survival, whereas leaders increase risk to retain their leadership.
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