Rieger Report: Breaking down the S&P Index v. Active results for 2018

S&P Active Versus Index (SPIVA) Results Year-End 2018

Active bond fund managers are struggling to keep up with indices:

  • Theory: Active bond fund managers should be outperforming benchmark indices particularly in volatile markets. After all, they have the best managers, best analysts, best access to data and best analytical tools.
  • SPIVA results: The year-end 2018 SPIVA results clearly disprove the theory. While there are times where some asset classes outperform for short time frames, i.e. Government Long Funds, longer time frames indicate they have not outperformed and are behind benchmark indices.
  • Opaque markets: Bond funds in the more opaque markets like emerging markets, municipal bonds and loans have performed poorly v. benchmark indices. In these areas where credit selection, structural selection and timing are critical, the SPIVA data show that active managers in general are struggling v. benchmark indices.

S&P Index Versus Active U.S. Scorecard
Year-End 2018
Percentage of Funds Outperformed by Benchmark Index


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

S&P Active Versus Index (SPIVA) Results Year-End 2018

The available data:

  • The SPIVA results are available on S&P Dow Jones Indices website here
  • The bond fund performance data can be found on page 20.
  • The SPIVA report shows data for 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 year periods.
  • The SPIVA report provides the actual performance data of both the indices and the aggregated bond funds for each category beginning on page 23.

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