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Standard & Poor's Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard, Midyear 2009

24 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2009  

Date Written: August 27, 2009


The S&P Indices Versus Active Funds (SPIVA) Scorecard reports performance comparisons corrected for survivorship bias, shows equal- and assetweighted peer averages, and provides measures of style consistency for actively managed U.S. equity, international equity, and fixed income mutual funds. The CRSP Survivor-Bias-Free U.S. Mutual Fund Database provides the underlying data. To accommodate CRSP release schedules, SPIVA is now published semi-annually with a 6 to 8 week lag. As a result of the market volatility over the past year, domestic and international equity funds have performed in line or marginally ahead of benchmarks. However, both taxable and tax exempt fixed income funds’ assetweighted returns trail benchmarks by large margins. The latest five-year SPIVA data for equity funds can be interpreted favorably by proponents of both active and passive management. Passive management believers can point out that indices have outperformed a majority of active managers across all major domestic and international equity categories, with real estate being the lone exception. Proponents of active management can point to asset-weighted averages suggesting a more level playing field, with active managers level or ahead of benchmarks in most categories, with the exception of midcaps and emerging markets. The five-year data is unequivocal for fixed income funds. Across all categories except emerging market debt, more than three-fourths of active managers have failed to beat fixed income benchmarks. Similarly, five-year assetweighted average returns are lower for active funds in all but two categories. The turmoil of the past year saw 9% of domestic equity funds, 5% of international equity funds and 6% of fixed income funds merge or liquidate.

Keywords: SPIVA

JEL Classification: C4

Suggested Citation

S&P Dow Jones Indices, Global Research & Design, Standard & Poor's Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard, Midyear 2009 (August 27, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Global Research & Design S&P Dow Jones Indices (Contact Author)

S&P Dow Jones Indices ( email )

New York, NY 10041
United States

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