With the stock market’s recent rally, investors in actively managed funds are getting more bang for their buck, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Standard & Poor’s found that 56.2% of stock funds that were managed by active managers beat S&P indexes similar to their investing styles in the second quarter, up from 47.5% in the first quarter. This figure is also significantly better than previous three- and five-year periods, in which an average of 45% of actively managed funds beat their individual market indexes in both time periods.

The second quarter was excellent for stock-fund investors, who have been so battered in the past few years. Actively managed small-cap funds did extremely well, with nearly 60% outperforming the S&P SmallCap 600 index, according to S&P. The S&P 500 itself rose 15.4% in the quarter.

By investment style, growth funds performed better against their benchmarks than value funds. Eighty percent of small-cap growth funds outperformed their benchmark, whereas only 32% of small-cap value funds achieved that feat. Seventy percent of large-cap growth funds outdid their benchmark, whereas less than 20% of large-cap value funds outpaced their benchmark.

Srikant Dash, an S&P analyst, told the Journal that the recent outperformance of growth funds relative to their indexes is very similar to 1990, when the economy was coming out of recession. Dash added the for short terms, performance can go from active funds outperforming indexes and vice-versa. However, looking at longer time periods, such as three to five years, most active funds underperform indexes.

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