In Focus: Passive Investing  

Happy 50th birthday, passive funds

Tim Focas

Tim Focas

On the other hand, there is a strong mainstream consensus that passive management will grow significantly as a share of global equity AUMs.

Take a look at the 20 most valuable companies in the world by market cap today, compared to the top 20 in 1989. The top company at the time, Industrial Bank of Japan, had a market cap of over $100bn. The largest company in the world in terms of market cap today, Apple, has a value of $2tn.

It is hardly surprising that active managers have failed to outperform index funds over such a long period of time. Indeed, in stark contrast, active fund managers have never been under more pressure to deliver better returns to investors that they are today.

But this is not to say that passive index investing is the be all and end all, for all investors. For some, it will work well.

However, sometimes, for some, going against the consensus might be the right path to take. 

Tim Focas is head of capital markets for Aspectus