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How'd Active Funds Do in 2019? So-So

Active funds tasted success a bit more often in 2019. But most still lagged the indexes.

Markets treated investors kindly last year. An indexed portfolio split 60%/40% between U.S. large-cap stocks and domestic investment-grade bonds notched a 22% total return in 2019. Active-fund investors got in on the action, too, with the average active U.S. large-cap equity fund gaining more than 25% and the average intermediate-term core bond fund around 8%. Not too shabby.

But the question for active-fund investors is how those funds fared versus their benchmark indexes in 2019. To that end, this piece examines active equity- and bond-fund success rates, finding:

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