Indexing or Active?
John A. Haslem
University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business
June 24, 2009
Journal of Indexes, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 8-12, June/July 2004
The controversy about whether mutual fund shareholders should invest primarily in actively managed funds or index funds continues. But, while there may be a small number of portfolio managers who provide evidence of persistency in high performance (assuming they meet the daunting statistical burden of proof), in most cases such performance is likely due to chance. Based on the hype for "star" portfolio managers, it is easy to forget that it is very difficult indeed to produce statistically significant superior performance.
Further, as reported by Jonathan Clements, Professors Mark Rubinstein and William Sharpe both succinctly make the current case for index funds.17 Rubinstein believes investors spend too much time on research and trade too few stocks too often, which has the effect of making the market more efficient. He concludes that, "...it's not cost effective to keep mining." In turn, Nobel Laureate Sharpe accepts the "compelling" argument that the market is not entirely efficient in the rational investor sense. Nonetheless, he still concludes that investors on both sides of the argument "should behave as if markets are efficient.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: mutual funds, index funds, actively managed funds, market efficiency, research, trading, Sharpe
JEL Classification: G2, G23, G28Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 25, 2009 ; Last revised: October 19, 2012
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.312 seconds