Standard & Poor's Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard, Year End 2008

Posted: 22 Jun 2009

Date Written: June 22, 2009


The S&P Indices Versus Active Funds (SPIVA) Scorecard report performance comparisons corrected for survivorship bias, shows equal- and asset-weighted peer averages, and provides measures of style consistency covering actively managed U.S. equity, international equity and fixed income mutual funds.

Underlying data is from the CRSP Survivor-Bias-Free U.S. Mutual Fund Database. To accommodate CRSP release schedules, SPIVA is published semi-annually with a fourteen week lag.

Over the five year market cycle from 2004 to 2008, S&P 500 outperformed 71.9% of actively managed large cap funds, S&P MidCap 400 outperformed 79.1% of mid cap funds and S&P SmallCap 600 outperformed 85.5% of small cap funds. These results are similar to that of the previous five year cycle from 1999 to 2003.

The belief that bear markets favor active management is a myth. A majority of active funds in eight of the nine domestic equity style boxes were outperformed by indices in the negative markets of 2008. The bear market of 2000 to 2002 showed similar outcomes.

Benchmark indices outperformed a majority of actively managed fixed income funds in all categories over a five-year horizon. Five year benchmark shortfall ranges from 2-3% per annum for municipal bond funds to 1-5% per annum for investment grade bond funds.

The script was similar for non-U.S. equity funds, with indices outperforming a majority of actively managed non-U.S. equity funds over the past five years.

Keywords: SPIVA

JEL Classification: C60

Suggested Citation

S&P Dow Jones Indices, Global Research & Design, Standard & Poor's Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard, Year End 2008 (June 22, 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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