The Active Versus Passive Debate in Australia – How did Australian active funds perform in 2017?

March 2018

The S&P Index Versus Active SPIVA® Australia Scorecard reports on the performance of actively managed Australian mutual funds against their respective benchmark indices over 1-, 3-, 5-, 10-, and 15-year investment horizons. There is no consistent trend in the yearly active versus index figures, but we have consistently observed that the majority of Australian active funds in most categories fail to beat the comparable benchmark indices over long-term horizons.

In 2017, the majority of Australian funds in most categories underperformed their respective benchmarks, apart from the Australian A-REIT category. There are 74%, 69% and 59% of funds in the Australian Equity Mid- and Small-Cap, Australian Bonds, and Australian Equity General categories underperforming their respective benchmarks. Over the one-year period, 6.2% of Australian funds from all measured categories were merged or liquidated, with Australian large-cap funds disappearing at the fastest rate and Australian bond funds recording a 100% survival rate.

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