More evidence that it’s very hard to beat the market over time, 95% of finance professionals can’t do it. Mark J. Perry writes on American Enterprise Institute: “The percentage of active managers who do beat the market is usually pretty small – fewer than 8% in most of the cases above over the last 15 years; and they may not sustain that performance in the future. For many investors, the ability to invest in low-cost, passive, unmanaged index funds and outperform 92% of high-fee, highly paid, professional active fund managers seems like a no-brainer, especially considering it requires no research or time trying to find the active managers who beat the market in the past and might do so in the future.”
S&P Dow Jones Indices, the ‘de facto scorekeeper of the active versus passive investing debate,’ recently released its SPIVA U.S. Year-End 2017 report. Here’s an overview of the SPIVA Scorecard:
There is nothing novel about the index versus active debate. It has been a contentious subject for decades, and there are few strong believers on both sides, with the vast majority of market participants falling somewhere in between. Since its first publication 16 years ago, the SPIVA Scorecard has served as the de facto scorekeeper of the active versus passive debate. For more than a decade, we have heard passionate arguments from believers in both camps when headline numbers have deviated from their beliefs.
During the one-year period, the percentage of managers outperforming their respective benchmarks noticeably increased in categories like Mid-Cap Growth and Small-Cap Growth Funds, compared to results from six months prior. Over the one-year period, 63.08% of large-cap managers, 44.41% of mid-cap managers, and 47.70% of small-cap managers underperformed the S&P 500, the S&P MidCap 400, and the S&P SmallCap 600, respectively.
While results over the short term were favorable, the majority of active equity funds underperformed over the longer-term investment horizons. Over the five-year period, 84.23% of large-cap managers, 85.06% of mid-cap managers, and 91.17% of small-cap managers lagged their respective benchmarks.
Similarly, over the 15-year investment horizon, 92.33% of large-cap managers, 94.81% of mid-cap managers, and 95.73% of small-cap managers failed to outperform on a relative basis.