Mutual Funds

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Over the years, investors have been attracted to mutual funds. This study seeks to do an-depth analysis of the Ghanaian mutual fund industry between the years 2006 and 2010. An exhaustive literature review on mutual funds and portfolio diversification will be conducted. An assessment of the performance of mutual funds will be done using the Sharpe and Sortino ratios as well as the Jensen Alpha. Comparisons will be made with analogous indices to determine the attractiveness of the industry. The investment strategy of fund managers will also be analysed and recommendations made. This paper will provide investors with a broad overview of the Ghanaian mutual fund industry, its inherent risks and returns.

The potential conflict between mutual fund companies and the people who invest in them is a classic example of an agency problem. Consumers would like the fund in which they invest to use its judgment to maximize risk-adjusted expected returns (Chevalier and Ellison, 1997). Measuring the performance, risk and returns of mutual funds thus becomes imperative as rational investors need such information to make investment decisions. According to an article published by All Africa on the 8th of November, 2010, figures released by Ghana’s statistical service indicated that the country’s economy stood at GH¢44 billion, 60% more than estimated earlier. Per this figure, the country was deemed to have attained middle income status. Ghana recorded at the time, the largest Per Capita Income in West Africa and ranked 21st in the continent. The Ghanaian economy’s steady growth has attracted both domestic and international investors. Among the many investment opportunities in the country available to investors is the attractive mutual fund industry which provides numerous benefits to its investors.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the number of mutual fund companies increased from 7 in the year 2008 to 9 in 2009. The total Net Asset Value of funds under management by mutual funds companies was GH¢95,817,222.27 in 2009 while total fund mobilization stood at GH¢40,433,682.40. A summary of the performance of the mutual fund industry in 2009 is shown in tables 1 and 2 in the appendix. This information provides several points of interest as to how the Ghanaian mutual fund industry has performed over the years and more importantly how it compares to other analogous mutual funds in the continent and elsewhere. This has informed the choice of enquiry and the need for research in the proposed area. Measuring the performance, risk and returns of mutual funds in the Ghanaian financial market has implications for a host of stakeholders.

The general objective of this research is to assess the risks and returns associated with investing in mutual funds in Ghana. The study also aims to draw a comparison between the performance of the Ghanaian mutual funds industry and similar financial markets. To achieve the general objectives, the following specific objectives have been formulated to guide in data collection and analysis. 1. To identify what makes mutual funds attractive to investors in Ghana 2. To identify the types of mutual funds available to Ghanaian investors 3. To measure the performance of mutual funds between 2006 and 2010 4. To compare Ghanaian mutual funds performance with similar market indices 5. To make recommendations to improve the management of mutual funds

According to Haslem, 2009, investing in Mutual funds has with many advantages. A primary advantage is the professional management of investors’ money. Investors purchase funds because they do not have the time or the expertise to manage their own portfolio. Secondly, by owning shares in a mutual fund instead of owning individual stocks or bonds, an investor’s risk is spread out. The idea behind...
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