This study provides a comprehensive examination of recent mutual fund performance by analyzing a large set of both mutual funds and fund attributes in an effort to link performance to fund-specific characteristics. The results indicate that the hypothesized relationships between performance and the explanatory variables are generally upheld. After taking into consideration general market conditions and fund investment objective, the characteristic variables that relate to fund popularity, growth, cost, and management also explain performance. Finally, after controlling for survivorship and benchmark error as well as fund-specific factors, the results refute the performance persistence phenomenon. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.