Standard and Poor’s released the findings of its mid-year 2009 Standard & Poor’s Index Versus Active Fund Scorecard (SPIVA), showing that for the past five years through June 30, the S&P 500 beat 63% of actively managed large-cap funds.

The S&P MidCap 400 outperformed 73% of mid-cap funds, and the S&P SmallCap 600 outperformed 57% of small-cap funds.

However, S&P admitted, asset-weighted averages suggest that a majority of active managers were level with or beat their benchmarks.

“Our latest five-year data for equity funds can be interpreted favorably by proponents of both active and passive management,” said Srikant Dash, global head of research and design at S&P and author of the report.

However, the five-year data is unequivocal for fixed income funds; across all categories, except emerging market debt, more than 75% of active managers failed to beat their benchmarks. In addition, five-year asset-weighted average returns are lower for active funds in all but two categories.

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