Tag Archives: passive management

2020 – The Dawn of the Passive Investing Era in India: Part One

The year 2020 has brought about many unexpected turns of events. The COVID-19 pandemic, which will be marked in history as one of the most-acute pandemics that the world has had to experience, is one. Another area that has seen a transformation in the financial investing space is the realization and acceptance of passive investing. Read more […]

Active Managers: No Place to Hide

In the first quarter of 2020, the global economy experienced not a slowdown, but a shutdown. As COVID-19 swept the world, outsized market movements became the new norm. The S&P 500® finished its worst quarter (-19.6%) since 2008’s global financial crisis. International equities fared even worse as the S&P International 700 lost 22.4%. While investors Read more […]

The Challenge of Finding Outperforming Active Funds in Canada

The SPIVA® Canada Year-End 2019 Scorecard was released recently. Despite the strong performance of broad equities, 2019 proved to be yet another challenging year for active funds in Canada. Here are a few highlights from the report. Strong Market Performance Did Not Translate to Active Fund Outperformance The S&P/TSX Composite posted its highest annual return Read more […]

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 Read more […]

No Immunity for Active Managers

Despite the early warning signs of a global pandemic and its devastating potential to obliterate economic growth, it appears that fund managers in Europe generally failed to position themselves appropriately for the storm that was to come. Taking a sneak peek into our upcoming SPIVA® Europe Scorecard, we can see the majority of Europe Equity Read more […]

Factors and Factor Indices

There is a subtle but important distinction between factors and factor indices.  “Factor” denotes an attribute with which long-term excess returns are thought to be associated.  Fama and French, for instance, famously found that small size and cheap valuation were factors in this sense.  A number of other variables – prominently including momentum, low volatility, Read more […]

Two Sides of Volatility

I was recently asked whether volatility was particularly challenging for index fund owners or for active investors.  The answer is “yes.” For index funds, the challenge arises because rising volatility typically accompanies poor returns.  Between 1991 and 2019, e.g., months in which the S&P 500’s volatility was above median averaged modestly negative total returns.  In Read more […]

The Defensive Advantage

A wise man told me years ago that there are some things you can’t get if you go after them directly.  If you’ve ever watched someone trying to sound interesting, you’ll realize the truth of my friend’s observation.  There are plenty of interesting people out there, of course, but they achieve that status by pursuing Read more […]

Performance Trickery, part 3

Success is hard to come by for active managers, as readers of our SPIVA reports know well.  Sometimes what appears to be stock selection skill is in fact simply a byproduct of style drift across the capitalization scale. A majority of large-cap active managers outperformed the S&P 500 only 3 times in 19 years of Read more […]

Coronaviral Correlations

Mea culpa: Roughly a month ago I used a dispersion-correlation map to describe how index dynamics can illuminate market movements.  In particular, I reported that since high dispersion seems to be a necessary condition for a bear market, and S&P 500 dispersion levels at the end of February were far below those prevailing in past Read more […]