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Sep 30, 2021

Why Benchmarks Matter

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a webinar on the basics of passive management. A portfolio manager in the audience posed an important question which I’ll paraphrase: “If my goal is to earn a return of X%, why is an index’s performance relevant?” Otherwise said, if I want to earn a particular absolute…

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Sep 27, 2021

Mid- and Small-Cap Fund Managers Lost Their Advantage – SPIVA U.S. Mid-Year 2021 Scorecard

The SPIVA® U.S. Mid-Year Scorecard continues to show that active funds’ strong absolute returns do not always translate into relative success compared with their benchmarks. In 15 out of 18 categories of domestic equity funds, the majority of actively managed funds underperformed their benchmarks. Over the 12-month period ending June 30, 2021, 58% of large-cap…

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Sep 13, 2021

Headwinds on the Active Horizon

Active managers’ performance was disappointing in 2020, despite the market’s heightened volatility. As the market continues to march upward in 2021, it’s natural to wonder if current conditions are favorable for stock pickers.  We expect active managers’ difficulties to persist. We can think of volatility in terms of its components: dispersion and correlation. Active managers…

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Jul 27, 2021

Strength of Savings

In the 20 years ending in 2020, 94% of all large-cap U.S. managers lagged the S&P 500®. Mid- and small-cap results were almost equally disappointing. A notable consequence of these shortfalls in active performance has been the rise in passive investing, one of the most significant trends in modern financial history. Our recent Annual Survey…

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Jun 3, 2021

What Canada Is Missing

Canadian investors have long participated in U.S. equity markets, but are materially underweight in U.S. mid- and small-cap companies. In this respect, Canadians resemble their European counterparts, whose investments in the U.S. rarely range beyond those companies included in the S&P 500®. This underinvestment is surprising for several reasons. European market participants are no stranger…

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May 31, 2021

Managing and Planning through Uncertain Times from an FA Perspective

In March 2021, we facilitated a discussion during S&P DJI’s virtual event with two financial advisors from Australia and Canada and an NZX representative who works closely with FAs in New Zealand. We asked them to reflect on the past year and how they pivoted with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Andrew Neatt, TD…

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May 25, 2021

Something New with Something Old: DIY DJIA®

The growth of index funds has, in the main, helped to lower the costs and improve the performance of the average investor’s portfolio. Now, some are seeking to improve upon even the relatively low costs of conventional index funds via so-called “direct indexing”, by which investors purchase securities to match an index themselves, disintermediating the…

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May 18, 2021

Unpacking SPIVA Europe: Did Volatility Provide Opportunity?

How did active managers respond to record volatility and soaring spreads in 2020 as the pandemic brought Europe to a halt? Tim Edwards and Andrew Innes of S&P DJI join Rebecca Chesworth of State Street Global Advisors and Pio Benetti of Kairos Partners SGR to explore the latest results from SPIVA Europe and the active…

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May 13, 2021

When Active Management Looks Easier

How can style bias impact the perception of active manager outperformance? S&P DJI’s Craig Lazzara and Anu Ganti discuss how a better understanding of style bias can help market participants interpret active manager performance and our SPIVA results. Learn more: https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/en/research/article/style-bias-and-active-performance/

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May 12, 2021

Equity: Diversity and Inclusion

We can think of an active equity portfolio as a combination of a benchmark (the S&P 500®, for example) and a set of active bets that measure the portfolio’s deviation from the benchmark. The relative size of the active bets is sometimes called “active share,” and is a convenient way to judge a manager’s aggressiveness….

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