Slideshow Which fund category did best for active managers?

  • September 19 2016, 3:45pm EDT
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Failing to beat the benchmarks

Active managers suggest they can outperform during periods of volatility, but their arguments couldn’t hold up during the first six months of 2016, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The SPIVA U.S. Midyear Scorecard — the indexes' latest semi-annual report on active equity managers — shows well over three-quarters of actively managed large-cap funds failing to beat their S&P 500 benchmark during the first half of 2016.

Actively managed mid-cap and small-cap funds fared even worse, with both being outperformed by their respective S&P benchmarks.

The picture is a tad better for active managers of global equity funds, but not for most of those who actively trade fixed income.

Aye Soe, senior director for global research and design, a co-author of the latest report, said the results mirrored similar poor performance by active managers in all three equity categories during the second half of 2015.

“We actually expected active managers to do better this time around, and in the second half of 2015,” she says, “because the traditional thinking has been that when there are headwinds and volatility in markets, active managers, who are able to move into and out of positions more quickly, will outperform.”

For a breakdown of the data, click through our slideshow.

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S&P 500 vs. large-cap funds

1-year return: 85%
5-year return: 92%
10-year return: 85%

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S&P MidCap 400 vs. mid-cap funds

1-year return: 88%
5-year return: 88%
10-year return: 91%

S&P SmallCap 600 vs. small-cap funds

1-year return: 89%
5-year return: 98%
10-year return: 91%

S&P Global 1200 vs. global funds

1-year return: 75%
5-year return: 82%
10-year return: 81%

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S&P Global 700 vs. international funds

1-year return: 55%
5-year return: 60%
10-year return: 80%

S&P/IFCI Composite vs. emerging market funds

1-year return: 42%
5-year return: 68%
10-year return: 82%

Percentage of fixed income funds outperformed by benchmarks

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Percentage of fixed income funds outperformed by benchmarks

Percentage of fixed income funds outperformed by benchmarks