Index Changes and Losses to Index Fund Investors
Posted: 8 Aug 2006
Because of arbitrage around the time of index changes, investors in funds linked to the S&P 500 Index and the Russell 2000 Index lose between $1.0 billion and $2.1 billion a year for the two indices combined. The losses can be higher if benchmarked assets are considered, the pre-reconstitution period is lengthened, or involuntary deletions are taken into account. The losses are an unexpected consequence of the evaluation of index fund managers on the basis of tracking error. Minimization of tracking error, coupled with the predictability and/or pre-announcement of index changes, creates the opportunity for a wealth transfer from index fund investors to arbitrageurs.
Keywords: Portfolio Management, Equity Strategies, Asset Allocation, Performance Measurement and Evaluation, Performance Measurement, Private Wealth Management, Mutual Fund Studies, Investment Industry, Other
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