Fund Spy

The Active Stock Fund Slump Explained

Jeffrey Ptak, CFA

Active U.S. stock funds are succeeding less often than they used to. This likely reflects the impact of a few trends: 1) Funds are outperforming before fees less often and by smaller margins, on average; 2) Styles like size and value are performing more alike; and 3) The "wrong" styles (large-cap and growth) are leading.

Some of these trends should abate. For instance, the small-cap and value styles are likely to rebound. But others appear to be more structural; this argues for funds to reconsider their fees.