ActiveFeb 4 2019

Active managers struggle to beat benchmarks

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Active managers struggle to beat benchmarks
ByJennifer Turton

Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, said: "The increased volatility in markets in 2018 will make it hard for some fund managers as, in the short term, they can easily be on the wrong side of the market.

"The latter stages of a bull market are hard for active managers as areas of the market look expensive and the active manager tends to avoid them, but stocks can remain expensive far longer than an active manager has the patience for.

"In addition short term sell offs as we saw at the end of 2018 should be of little concern to most active fund managers unless they are of the view that any sell off leads to a longer term trend or change.  

"More likely it is to provide an opportunity to invest at a lower level if they have conviction in the stocks they hold."

Lowcock added that active management had to be analysed in context. "Ultimately the market reflects all opinions of active managers, the good, the bad and the ugly.  

"So any analysis focuses on everything and does not look at the top end. It would be better to look at active through the lens of AUM not number of fund managers."