Do Investment Fund Managers Behave Rationally in the Light of Central Bank Communication? Survey Evidence from Poland

Monika Bolek, Rafał Wolski, Jerzy Gajdka, Ali M. Kutan, Janusz Brzeszczyński

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to answer the question whether investment funds managers exhibit behavioural biases in their investment decisions. Furthermore, it investigates if fund managers, as a group of institutional investors, make decisions in response to central bank’s communication as well as other information in relation to various behavioural inclinations.

Methodology: A comprehensive study was conducted based on a questionnaire, which is composed of three main parts exploring: (1) General information about the funds under the management of the surveyed group of fund managers, (2) Factors that influence the investment process with an emphasis on the National Bank of Poland (NBP) communication and (3) Behavioural inclinations of the surveyed group. In the first step, Cronbach Alpha statistic was applied for measuring the reliability of the survey questionnaire and then chi-squared test was used to investigate the relationship between the answers provided in the survey.

Findings: The central bank’s communication matters for investors, but its impact on their decisions appears to be only moderate. Interest rates were found to be the most important announcements for investment fund managers. The stock market was the most popular market segment where the investments were made. The ultra-short time horizon played no, or only small, role in the surveyed fund managers’ decisions as most of them invested in a longer 1-5 years horizon. Moreover, most respondents declared that they considered in their decisions the information about market expectations published in the media. Finally, majority of the fund managers manifested limited rationality and were subject to behavioural biases, but the decisions and behavioural inclinations were independent and, in most cases, they did not influence each other.

Originality: Apart from the commonly tested behavioural biases in the group of institutional investors in the existing literature, such as loss aversion, disposition effect or overconfidence etc., we focus in this paper also on the less intensively analysed behavioural inclinations, i.e. framing, illusion of the control, representativeness, sunk cost effect and fast thinking. The originality of this study further lies in the way the research was conducted through interviews with fund managers, who were found to be subject to behavioural biases, although those behavioural inclinations did not influence their investment decisions. This finding indicates that professionalism and collectivism in the group of institutional investors protect them from irrationality.

Practical implications: The results reported in this study can be used in practice to better understand and to improve the fund managers’ decision-making processes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research in Financial Markets
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Dec 2022

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