Senior Loan (Bank Loan) ETFs: Active vs. Passive

Click here for a print friendly copy of this report.

Active vs. Passive Senior Loan (Bank Loan) Funds

S&P Dow Jones Indices recently released its mid-year 2018 SPIVA (S&P Index Versus Active) U.S. Scorecard tracking the performance of loan funds to a benchmark index.

Noting that the 10 year period tracked has been in a credit positive environment, the data still raises some questions for active loan fund investors.

  • If approximately 70% of the active senior loan funds cannot outperform a benchmark index why are the investors paying relatively high management fees?
  • Given the advent of covenant light loan syndications will the reverse happen if and when credit conditions deteriorate? Could this be an argument for active management?

SPIVA Data: Percentage of Loan Participation Funds Outperformed by Benchmarks:


With the inclusion of this new information, I am reaffirming the Rieger Report Rankings for Senior Loan ETFs as reported October 5, 2018.

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, LLC SPIVA Scorecard Mid-Year 2018

Reaffirming: Rieger Report Rankings Senior Loan (Bank Loan) ETFs
(Over $500million in Assets)


  1. Assets Under Management.

Data as of 10/5/2018 or as otherwise stated.

Sources: Highland Funds, Invesco, State Street, First Trust and Yahoo Finance.  Table is shown for illustrative purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Analyst Disclosure

  • JR Rieger and or the Rieger Report LLC has not received compensation either directly or indirectly from the sponsor(s) of the ETF(s) included in this report.
  • At the time of this writing, JR Rieger does not own the ETF(s) cited in this report.
Copyright © 2018 Rieger Report LLC. All rights reserved. Redistribution in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission of the Rieger Report LLC. All information provided by the Rieger Report LLC is for informational purposes only, impersonal, and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group or persons. It should not be considered financial advice. The Rieger Report LLC receives compensation in connection with licensing its research, advertising on its website, speaking and consulting services.
Past performance of any investment product or index referenced in the Rieger Report is not an indication of or guarantee of future results.
The Rieger Report LLC is not an investment advisor, and the Rieger Report LLC makes no representation regarding the advisability of investing in any such investment fund or other investment vehicle. A decision to invest in any such investment fund or other investment vehicle should not be made in reliance on any statements set forth in this document. Prospective investors are advised to make an investment in any such fund or other vehicle only after carefully considering the risks associated with investing in such funds, as detailed in an offering memorandum or similar document that is prepared by or on behalf of the issuer of the investment fund or other investment product or vehicle. A financial advisor should be contacted to determine what may be best for your individual needs. The Rieger Report LLC is not a financial or tax advisor. A tax advisor should be consulted to evaluate the impact of any tax-exempt securities on portfolios and the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. No legal relationship is created between you and Rieger Report LLC.
The Rieger Report LLC does not act as a fiduciary or investment advisor. While the Rieger Report LLC has obtained information from sources it believes to be reliable, the Rieger Report LLC does not perform any audit or undertake verification of any information it receives.
The Rieger Report Rankings are opinions of relative ranking among the peer group analyzed as of the date expressed and not statements of facts. Rieger Report model portfolios are intended for illustration only. Any opinion or analysis decisions are not to be construed as recommendations to purchase, hold or sell any securities or to make any investment decisions, and do not address the suitability of any security. The Rieger Report LLC does not assume any obligation to update the content in this publication in any form or format.
Your use of any information from this document or presentation is at your own risk and without recourse against Rieger Report LLC, its members, managers, or employees. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Rieger Report LLC disclaims any and all liability in the event any information, commentary, analysis, and/or opinions prove to be inaccurate, incomplete or unreliable, or result in any investment or other losses.