Equity indices back to double digit gains, S&P Dow Jones Indices finds

In 2012 there was a return of the double digit gains across all the domestic and global equity benchmark indices according to the SPIVA Scorecard published by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The gains passive indices made did not, however, translate into active management, as most active managers in all categories  except large-cap growth and real estate funds underperformed their respective benchmarks in 2012.

Performance lagged behind the benchmark indices for 63.25% of large-cap funds,
80.45% of mid-cap funds and 66.5% of small cap funds.

The performance figures are equally unfavorable for active funds when viewed over three- and five- year horizons.

Managers across all domestic equity categories lagged behind the  benchmarks over the three-year horizon. The five-year horizon  yielded similar results, with large-cap value emerging as the only  category that maintained performance parity relative to its  benchmark.

Among international equity categories, 66.26% of global funds,  56.27% of international funds and 57.62% of emerging markets  funds were outperformed by benchmarks over the past three  years.

A large percentage of international small-cap funds, on  the other hand, continue to outperform the benchmark  regardless of the period being measured, indicating that active  management opportunities are still present in this space.

Actively managed fixed income funds fared better than their  equity counterparts in 2012. Most fixed income funds outperformed their benchmark indices except for funds in the  longer term government, longer term investment-grade and  high-yield categories. The picture is less rosy, however, when  viewed over the five-year period. Actively managed fixed  income funds in nearly all the categories saw their performances lag behind the benchmark indices.


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