Tag Archives: SPIVA

In Which Market Cycles Do Active Funds Add the Most Alpha?

Those who invest in active funds may expect portfolio managers to deliver excess returns over their benchmark indices for the fee they paid.  However, results from the SPIVA® (S&P Indices Versus Active) India Scorecard suggest this may not always be the case.  The scorecard, which is a biannual report, attempts to capture the performance of Read more […]

SPIVA® India Year-End 2016 Scorecard: Underperformance of Active Funds Versus S&P BSE Benchmark Indices

Various events during the second half of 2016, both global—such as the U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike and the U.S. elections—and domestic—such as passage of the GST bill in Parliament and demonetization—kept Indian markets volatile.  Over the one-year period ending December 2016, Indian equity markets underperformed Indian bond markets.  The S&P BSE 100, which seeks Read more […]

Manager Outperformance: Is it Luck or Skill?

Over the years, we frequently hear from our SPIVA® and Persistence Scorecard readers that they have found their star manager or their own Warren Buffet—someone who can successfully beat the benchmark repeatedly.  Based on our 15 years of publishing the SPIVA U.S. Scorecard, we know that, on average, around 20% to 30% of domestic equity Read more […]

SPIVA® South Africa: Active Equity Funds Followed the Global Trend—They Underperformed

South African equity markets have once again performed poorly, especially in comparison with global equity markets.  One reason for this drab performance was that its GDP contracted 1.2% in the first quarter, although the price of gold—one of the country’s key exports—increased and the South African rand recovered somewhat with respect to other currencies. Poor Read more […]

The Making of a Passivist

I have few memories of my school French, but one of the fondest is of Moliere’s Monsieur Jourdain, who was delighted to learn in middle age that he had been speaking prose for the last 40 years.  Similarly, I did not realize until recently that I was a “passivist,” as the Wall Street Journal has now anointed the Read more […]

Are You Looking for Outperforming Funds?

When one is paying management fees for the investment in active funds, one might reasonably expect the funds to outperform benchmarks and resist downturn when the market is volatile.  However, results from our S&P Indices Versus Active (SPIVA®) Scorecards[1] suggest this expectation is often not met.  SPIVA reports across different regions, including the U.S., Canada, Read more […]

SPIVA® Europe Mid-Year 2016: Performance of Active Managers Has Been Disappointing This Year

European equity markets fared poorly over the one-year period ending June 30, 2016, with the S&P Europe 350® decreasing 10.47%.  This underwhelming performance was brought on by heightened volatility following the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union, as well as the negative interest rate policy in Europe.  Normally, these conditions might be considered ideal Read more […]

The Worst of Both Worlds

For active managers, investment results are partly a function of skill and partly a function of the environment in which that skill is exercised.  Even perfect foresight has only conditional value.  Imagine, for example, a manager who can always identify the top quintile of performers in a given market.  If the top quintile outperforms the index as Read more […]

Worse Than Marxism?

The investment community was bombarded last week with a paper arguing that passive investing is “worse than Marxism.”  That any putatively-serious observer can compare an investment strategy, even one he doesn’t like, with a political ideology responsible for the deaths of millions boggles the imagination, but maybe I’m just too sensitive.  The paper’s argument seems Read more […]

Passive Investing can be good for your retirement and health

In the print edition of the Wall Street Journal this weekend, there were two unrelated stories side by side, one about a firm’s self-dealing with 401(k) and another about Medicare.  After reading them together it became clear that these seeming unrelated stories unintentionally show that while active funds can be bad for your retirement and Read more […]