What are your chances of picking an investment fund that survives and outperforms?
Flip a coin and your odds of getting heads or tails are 50/50. Historically, the odds of selecting an investment fund that was still around 15 years later are about the same. Regarding outperformance, the odds are worse. The market’s pricing power works against fund managers who try to outperform through stock picking or market timing. One needn’t look further than real-world results to see this. Based on research, only 17% of US equity mutual funds and 18% of fixed income funds have survived and outperformed their benchmarks over the past 15 years.
Outsmarting Other Investors Is Tough. Few Conventional Mutual Funds Survive and Beat Their Benchmark*.
US-based Mutual Fund Performance, 2002-2016
If you choose a fund because of strong past performance, does that mean it will do well in the future?
Some investors select mutual funds based on past returns. However, research shows that most funds in the top quartile (25%) of previous five-year returns did not maintain a top-quartile ranking in the following year. In other words, past performance offers little insight into a fund’s future returns.
So, what should you be doing?
Work closely with an investment advisor who can offer expertise and guidance to help you focus on actions that add value. Focusing on what you can control can lead to a better investment experience.
• Create an investment plan to fit your needs and risk tolerance.
• Structure a portfolio along the dimensions of expected returns.
• Diversify globally.
• Manage expenses, turnover, and taxes.
• Stay disciplined through market dips and swings.