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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

WSJ Attacks Active Management, Again

News summary by MFWire's editors

Journalists continue to take shots at active management. The Wall Street Journal's Ben Levisohn and Joe Light report on new analysis that found five of seven high-profile, actively-managed funds neither over- or under-performing over the past decade when beta, size and style are taken into account. Yet the analysis, conducted for the WSJ by IndexUniverse, found that those three factors failed to explain the performance of two Fidelity [profile] stars, Contrafund and Magellan.

The article does not mention whether Contra and Magellan out- or under-performed according to the analysis.

Dodge & Cox Stock [profile], Vanguard Windsor [profile], and American Funds' [profile] Investment Company of America, Fundamental Investors and Growth Fund of America all failed to over- or under-perform in IndexUniverse's analysis.

A Capital Group spokesman claimed that their funds have consistently outperformed their benchmark indexes. And Vanguard principal Dan Newhall said that the backward-looking analysis did not consider how Windsor might change its factor exposures, and he added that Windsor's expense ratio of 30 basis points is relatively cheap.

The article also mentions Texas-based financial planner Lance Alston, who recommends index funds over actively managed funds. And William Bernstein of Efficient Frontier Advisors also weighed in. 

Edited by: HFD


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