Tag Archives: active v. passive

May 26, 2020

Outcome-Oriented Solutions: Where Active and Passive Meet

What do presidential debates and an argument between passive and active investors have in common? They are both thrilling, demand the highest levels of rhetorical skills, don’t change audience opinions, and everyone goes home entertained. While presidential debates remain as exciting as ever, the shrillness of conversation between active and passive investors seems to have…

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Feb 27, 2019

The Blooming of Passive Investing in India

A few years back on highlighting the benefits of passive investing or index investing; there was skepticism on its ability to get a foothold in Indian financial markets. How the tides have turned! Now, not only do we have the skeptics accepting its value, but also propagating the concept. Undoubtedly, India is still largely an…

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Feb 14, 2019

Confusing Style and Selection

A headline from yesterday was very intriguing: “Why investors crave a return to the art of stock-picking.”  Copious data demonstrate the peril of placing hope in active management.  The article argues that since we seem to be in a trend that favors value, it is a good time for managers to pick stocks based on…

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Feb 11, 2019

An Unexpected Outcome for Stock Pickers?

Active managers were welcomed by a disheartening headline this morning. “The 2018 Comeback That Wasn’t for Stock Pickers” highlights that “just 38% of actively managed U.S. stock funds tracked by Morningstar outperformed their counterparts at passively managed funds last year.”  This should hardly have been considered shocking.  Both long-term and more recent data (notably including…

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Dec 11, 2018

Passive Investing Opportunities in India

Fifty years ago, there were no index funds—all assets were managed actively. The subsequent shift of assets from active to passive management in the U.S. and European markets could be considered one of the most important developments in modern financial history, and this shift was the consequence of active performance shortfalls.[1] In India, we have…

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Jan 4, 2018

Prediction for 2018: There Will Be Many Predictions

A calendar that offers a forecast for every day of the coming year is not uncommon in Chinese households.  I don’t often hear references to the calendar on most days. But every now and again I would hear my mom marvel, “Oh that calendar was right on for today!” In investing, there is also particular…

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Jan 2, 2018

2017…Among the Sleepiest of Years

If 2016 was unremarkable, 2017 was downright sleepy…at least as far as equity markets were concerned. In 2017, the S&P 500 notched the lowest level of volatility in 27 years. Both dispersion and correlations were among the lowest levels in the same period. This is in spite of a year that was far from lacking…

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Dec 19, 2017

Pockets of Active Achievement

The last 16 years have not been kind to active management. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Unless the laws of basic arithmetic change, the theoretical argument on the perils of active management is ironclad. SPIVA data offer solid evidence to back up theory. As the chart below shows, most active managers underperform most…

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Aug 3, 2016

The Walking Dead Return (as Active ETFs)

In AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” we meet Rick Grimes after he awakens from a coma to find himself in post-apocalyptic world filled with legions of zombies.  Rick calls these zombies “walkers,” but as each season goes by (season seven starts this October) different groups name them other things, like biters, roamers, lurkers, etc.  The names…

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Apr 11, 2016

Who Fuelled the Oil Bonds Bubble?

It has become popular to blame passive investors and index funds for the recent rise (and fall) in prices for U.S. high yield bonds.  The thesis – placing passive investors as the culprit – goes as follows: There have been material, positive flows into passive bond funds, at the expense of active funds. Passive bond funds…

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