S&P: Active Equity Funds Ruled in First Quarter 2003

April 8, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Actively managed equity mutual funds beat their corresponding Standard & Poor's indices during the first quarter of 2003, but lagged the indices over the long term.

According to the latest Standard & Poor’s Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard (SPIVA) for the first quarter:

  • 49.3% of large-cap actively managed funds beat the S&P 500
  • 72.9% of mid-cap actively managed funds fared better than the S&P MidCap 400
  • 73.4% of small-cap active funds bested the S&P SmallCap 600.  

Indices Ahead

The SPIVA report also determined that indices have fared better over the longer term than active equity funds. Over the last five years, the S&P 500 has beaten 60.2% of large-cap funds, the S&P MidCap 400 has beaten 92.8% of mid-cap funds, and the S&P SmallCap 600 has beaten 64.8% of small-cap funds.

In the last three years, the corresponding benchmarks outperformed 55% of large-cap funds, 68% of mid-cap funds and 73% of small-cap funds. In the last 12 months, the average domestic active equity fund lost 25.7% on an equal weighted basis and 24.8% on an asset-weighted basis. The broad US market, as measured by the S&P SuperComposite 1500, has lost 24.4%.

Also, according to the report, over the last three years, 14.9% of funds were merged or liquidated.