Author Topic: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"  (Read 9781 times)

RedmondStash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 899
I can't help but feel that the author of this article is somehow missing the point. Of course there are ways to sabotage yourself with index funds and money managers. But eschewing a manager and holding onto low-cost index funds after you buy them seem to pretty much land you in the land of matching market performance. That's good enough for me.

I don't see the author quoting any studies or specific data, just hypothesizing. (And using bad grammar.)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-investors-can-sabotage-performance-by-switching-to-index-funds-2016-08-25

thd7t

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1340
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 11:22:17 AM »
Well, the last paragraph pretty much sums up a good strategy, although dollar cost averaging is not optimal. The article probably means regular interval investing, though.

The rest of the article seems to be about not over-thinking your passive investments.

Retire-Canada

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7562
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 11:58:26 AM »
It's just a filler puff piece. Go on a low info diet and ignore.

RedmondStash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 899
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 12:37:48 PM »
It actually feels like disinformation to me, with half-hearted and grudging nods toward the efficacy of investing in index funds. The headline especially implies that you should worry about the idea of investing in index funds because you can do better with active investing, even though that theory has been debunked over and over again.

I worry that people thinking about moving into index-fund investing will see this article and hesitate. And that that serves no one but money managers.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7389
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 01:10:09 PM »
Sometimes articles are wrong. This is more common with untrustworthy clickbait sites like Marketwatch.

Full_Beard

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
  • Location: 49th
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2016, 01:41:43 PM »
Bad title for sure, but the point seems to be that actively trading in index funds can nullify the main reason to go to Index funds. The problem, I suppose, is the comparison of doing that versus buying actively managed funds since that implies that that may be the better option.

Abe

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2016, 06:38:02 PM »
How does market watch stay in business? Seriously.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28250
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2016, 01:59:42 AM »
How does market watch stay in business? Seriously.

Posting clickbait articles that makes people link to them.

It worked here.  ;)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

nobodyspecial

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1468
  • Location: Land above the land of the free
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2016, 10:37:16 AM »
But http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

Instead I'm launching a new hedge fund where I will take all your money and put it on black.
I'm only charging 2%/year and 20% of the profits and I performed better than the market in 50% of  previous years 

MustacheAndaHalf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2946
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2016, 12:21:21 PM »
Let me highlight one point I agree with from the article:
"Countless studies show that fund investors tend to buy into fund that have been hot and sell them when performance lags, and that happens with both active and passive investors."

Yes, chasing performance into passive funds and back out to active funds does hurt performance.  But the author would need to show a study showing passive and active holders do this in the same amounts and trail by the same amounts.  The point hasn't been made, and I expect holders of passive funds churn their money less.


"... what you see now is that active managers are pulling their stakes and putting their tents up at the level of making asset-allocation decisions. They are building models using passive portfolios as their building blocks."

This is almost amusing - he's claiming the surrender of active funds.  But even in asset allocation decisions, active funds tends to be the most in cash when the rebound hits, and the least in cash when stocks crash.  But in any event this article is claiming that active funds aren't that active, so they don't trail as badly.  Maybe that can be their new slogan: "Active funds, we don't trail passive investing as badly now."

TexasRunner

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 926
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Somewhere in Tejas
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 10:48:57 AM »
...Maybe that can be their new slogan: "Active funds, we don't trail passive investing as badly now."

I got a good laugh out of that.  :)

Clickbait.  Move along, move along.


Vagabond76

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Destin, FL
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 07:29:31 PM »
But http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

That piece could have been written for the Onion.

No, that piece was dead-on accurate. If all people only invested in passive index funds there would be no incentive for innovation. Every company would always have a constant proportional fit in society. There would be no new money for new technologies to push the old guard to get better or wither on the vine. In essence, that is what happened under Marxism.

nobodyspecial

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1468
  • Location: Land above the land of the free
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2016, 09:07:48 PM »
But http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

That piece could have been written for the Onion.

No, that piece was dead-on accurate. If all people only invested in passive index funds there would be no incentive for innovation. Every company would always have a constant proportional fit in society. There would be no new money for new technologies to push the old guard to get better or wither on the vine. In essence, that is what happened under Marxism.
After the initial IPO the money doesn't go to fund the company it goes to another gambler in the market.
The money to fund the company, and the value of the company, is set by the much larger bond market.
The equity market is pretty much irrelevant to the economy 

Vagabond76

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Destin, FL
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 09:49:32 PM »
But http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

That piece could have been written for the Onion.

No, that piece was dead-on accurate. If all people only invested in passive index funds there would be no incentive for innovation. Every company would always have a constant proportional fit in society. There would be no new money for new technologies to push the old guard to get better or wither on the vine. In essence, that is what happened under Marxism.
After the initial IPO the money doesn't go to fund the company it goes to another gambler in the market.
The money to fund the company, and the value of the company, is set by the much larger bond market.
The equity market is pretty much irrelevant to the economy

There won't be any IPOs because there wouldn't be any money outside the index fund to invest. Luckily for society, an all-index fund fantasy advocated on these forums is just that--a fantasy. There will always be someone looking for a leg up on everyone else.

MustacheAndaHalf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2946
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2016, 10:12:02 PM »
If all stock market investing goes passive, that does not mean $0 are available for research.

All the money in the world doesn't go into the stock market.  That's a flawed assumption in thinking 100% passive in the U.S. stock market means all investing is passive.  The venture capital firms that fund pre-IPO companies are a good example: they provide capital directly to the company in exchange for ownership, well before shares exist on the open market.

The all money is in the market also ignores cash reserves of large companies.  Apple holds billions in cash, and funds research & development with it.  Companies can use their existing sales to fund research, without the stock market being involved at all.  AT&T's bell labs didn't use stock sales for it's funding, but it produced a wide variety of tech advances (like the computer mouse).

k9

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Age: 40
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2016, 02:39:42 AM »
I'm pretty sure value investors have wet dreams of a world where >99% of investors invest in index funds. Oh my god! Free money everywhere! I can buy this company for 1% of its net assets! Its dividend yield will be 100% every year!

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1535
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2016, 10:03:08 AM »
"Thus, an investor actively working a portfolio of passive funds is not likely to do any better than the stock jockey actively running a portfolio of stocks."

What a bullshit, unsubstantiated conclusion to make after arguments which have nothing to do with the conclusion.  Anyway, Boggle himself admits that the majority of ETF index investors don't beat the market.  Why?  Because they're as bad as others at not having a plan, performance chasing, changing strategy, and jumping ship.  That's why he recommends mutual fund over ETF indexes--people are statistically less likely to do stupid things with mutual funds over ETFs because they're not as easy to trade in a blink.  (Though they still do.)  (Almost) everyone in the MMM forums knows "set it and forget it" is the way to go index funds--that's a win which will beat the stock jockey.

Grog

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
It's very improbable because if a company  does well (but the stock price doesn't change because everything is passive), they will start distribute dividend of 10%-20% of the stock price, thus for sure some active investor for sure will start buying stock to get the 20% dividend. This will never change.

Sent from my YD201 using Tapatalk


irishteacherinvestor

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2016, 01:48:10 AM »
Please excuse my low knowledge and beginner-ness on all this!

What is active versus passive index fund investing? What does that mean?

If I wanted to invest say 1000 per month in global index funds using an online platform... is that passive index fund investing? If so would you recommend investing in the same global index fund shares or using that 1000 to invest in a variety of global (or national) index fund shares?

I'm not very good at this... be gentle.

MDM

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10302
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2016, 02:05:26 AM »

Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1535
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2016, 02:52:41 PM »
If I wanted to invest say 1000 per month in global index funds using an online platform... is that passive index fund investing? If so would you recommend investing in the same global index fund shares or using that 1000 to invest in a variety of global (or national) index fund shares?

Yes, it's passive--and if you left it alone after investing and did the same strategy for years, giving it very little thought, that would be an even better passive strategy.  Index funds were designed with the passive investor in mind--for steady growth over the long-term.  ....Though there are still those who abuse the design by buying index funds and then still insist on acting like these know-it-all fat cats:


RedmondStash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 899
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2016, 10:00:46 PM »
Please excuse my low knowledge and beginner-ness on all this!

What is active versus passive index fund investing? What does that mean?

If I wanted to invest say 1000 per month in global index funds using an online platform... is that passive index fund investing? If so would you recommend investing in the same global index fund shares or using that 1000 to invest in a variety of global (or national) index fund shares?

I'm not very good at this... be gentle.

We were all beginners once. :)

You might take a look at J.L. Collins's Stock Series. It walks through a lot of useful foundational information about stocks and investing.

http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

faramund

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2016, 11:44:12 PM »
Please excuse my low knowledge and beginner-ness on all this!

What is active versus passive index fund investing? What does that mean?

If I wanted to invest say 1000 per month in global index funds using an online platform... is that passive index fund investing? If so would you recommend investing in the same global index fund shares or using that 1000 to invest in a variety of global (or national) index fund shares?

I'm not very good at this... be gentle.

We were all beginners once. :)

You might take a look at J.L. Collins's Stock Series. It walks through a lot of useful foundational information about stocks and investing.

http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/
Although, a simple answer is passive investing is consistently regularly investing and only selling as part of a plan to pay living expenses (in the context of this forum - in retirement).

Pretty much doing anything else is becoming more active. If you only buy some of the time - based on how you think the market is going, and then even more essentially if you sell for any other reason than the above, i.e. selling if you think the market will fall, or what the majority of people (badly) do, selling AFTER the market has had a fall.

Full_Beard

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
  • Location: 49th
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2016, 02:12:33 PM »
But http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

That piece could have been written for the Onion.

No, that piece was dead-on accurate. If all people only invested in passive index funds there would be no incentive for innovation. Every company would always have a constant proportional fit in society. There would be no new money for new technologies to push the old guard to get better or wither on the vine. In essence, that is what happened under Marxism.

hahhahaha. I have seen nothing explaining how one who invests in Russel 3000 Index with all his/her money, adds to it monthly, and watches it grow is contributing to Marxism. Stock brokers are a dying breed. Mutual Fund managers may be next. It won't change our capitalist economy one iota.

Vagabond76

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Destin, FL
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2016, 05:41:18 PM »
But http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

That piece could have been written for the Onion.
No, that piece was dead-on accurate. If all people only invested in passive index funds there would be no incentive for innovation. Every company would always have a constant proportional fit in society. There would be no new money for new technologies to push the old guard to get better or wither on the vine. In essence, that is what happened under Marxism.

hahhahaha. I have seen nothing explaining how one who invests in Russel 3000 Index with all his/her money, adds to it monthly, and watches it grow is contributing to Marxism. Stock brokers are a dying breed. Mutual Fund managers may be next. It won't change our capitalist economy one iota.

In capitalist societies, business owners and investors allocate capital towards profitable ventures and away from unprofitable ones.  This drives innovations in products and services.  In the modern state, this means ownership of profitable companies (or expectations of future profitable companies).  There will be some big winners and some big losers.  Small time investors can diversify within the capital structure without any adverse effects.

True "Marxism" holds that the "workers" control the mode of production.  The closest we can compare is when the USSR and other countries tried to impose communism, where the "state" owned the mode of production, ostensibly as a proxy for the "workers."  The state allocated its capital and labor evenly amongst all industries.  It did not matter if the industry was profitable or unprofitable.  That is exactly how passive investing in index funds works.

If everyone--and I mean EVERYONE--only invested their capital in broad, passive index funds, that is no different from the state investing our collective capital.  The state's total return cannot exceed state's profitability (dividends) + inflation (appreciation).  The inflation/appreciation side of the equation will always be a negative return because of capital gains taxes.  Therefore, capital gains will be a second thought.

LordSquidworth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2016, 07:14:46 PM »
Basically indexing only works because not everyone does it.

If everyone does it, it won't work.

That's why active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors.  The market stays balanced because the active investors seek out the imbalance.

AdrianC

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Location: Cincinnati
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2016, 07:43:34 PM »
That's why active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors.  The market stays balanced because the active investors seek out the imbalance.

Active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors before transaction costs and fees. Most active mutual funds don't beat their benchmarks over the long term, even those with honest and skilled managers. Transaction costs and fees eat up any outperformance.

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3131
  • Location: South Korea
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2016, 07:47:07 PM »
That's why active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors.  The market stays balanced because the active investors seek out the imbalance.

Active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors before transaction costs and fees. Most active mutual funds don't beat their benchmarks over the long term, even those with honest and skilled managers. Transaction costs and fees eat up any outperformance.

And the number who do are few and far between and rarely do so on a consistent enough basis to credit their performance to skill over a run of good luck.

LordSquidworth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2016, 08:02:26 PM »
That's why active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors.  The market stays balanced because the active investors seek out the imbalance.

Active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors before transaction costs and fees. Most active mutual funds don't beat their benchmarks over the long term, even those with honest and skilled managers. Transaction costs and fees eat up any outperformance.

These active investors fees are minimal. They're not paying what retail pay.

I'm not talking about mutual funds. Those are in my opinion are pretty terribly structured from the start. On top of that, they're far too mainstream. If I were active investing for clients in some sort of fund it'd be a hedge fund. If someone is pitching you active investing in a mutual fund, they're not worth listening to their pitch.

That's why active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors.  The market stays balanced because the active investors seek out the imbalance.

Active investors who know what they are doing beat passive index investors before transaction costs and fees. Most active mutual funds don't beat their benchmarks over the long term, even those with honest and skilled managers. Transaction costs and fees eat up any outperformance.

And the number who do are few and far between and rarely do so on a consistent enough basis to credit their performance to skill over a run of good luck.


How do you know? I'll answer that, you don't.

Successful active investors don't want attention. They don't want to be sharing what they're doing. You never want to share an investment until that investment is already in your rear view.

You know about the big guys because they've gotten so big they have to disclose. If an active investor keeps his fund small enough he doesn't have to share with the world anything he doesn't want to share. There are a lot of funds out there that don't have anything published for you to look at, and that's done on purpose. Current investors would be barred from sharing due to non-disclosures. You have to actually request to see their info and if you're not likely to invest a lot of money they won't share. Even if they do, you're barred from talking about it.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 08:04:18 PM by LordSquidworth »

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3131
  • Location: South Korea
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2016, 09:09:48 PM »
Decades of research support investors who beat the market are outliers in their profession.  Even the legends of investing usually had only a few years in a row before hitting some bad strides.  Are you seriously saying someone with this magic touch doesn't want to drum up more clients by telling everyone how awesome he is? What would he gain by staying in the shadows?

nobodyspecial

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1468
  • Location: Land above the land of the free
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2016, 09:25:46 PM »

In capitalist societies, business owners and investors allocate capital towards profitable ventures and away from unprofitable ones.  This drives innovations in products and services.  In the modern state, this means ownership of profitable companies (or expectations of future profitable companies).  There will be some big winners and some big losers.  Small time investors can diversify within the capital structure without any adverse effects.

True "Marxism" holds that the "workers" control the mode of production.  The closest we can compare is when the USSR and other countries tried to impose communism, where the "state" owned the mode of production, ostensibly as a proxy for the "workers."  The state allocated its capital and labor evenly amongst all industries.  It did not matter if the industry was profitable or unprofitable.  That is exactly how passive investing in index funds works.

If everyone--and I mean EVERYONE--only invested their capital in broad, passive index funds, that is no different from the state investing our collective capital.  The state's total return cannot exceed state's profitability (dividends) + inflation (appreciation).  The inflation/appreciation side of the equation will always be a negative return because of capital gains taxes.  Therefore, capital gains will be a second thought.

So what happens when 99% of the trades in the market are sub-millisecond arbitrage trades by high frequency trading algorithms?

When "the market" value of a company is based on somebody with a computer 100ft (=100ns) closer to the exchange,  front running your order then Adam Smith, Keynes and Hayek are pointless. At least Marx would get a laugh out of it.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 09:47:42 AM by nobodyspecial »

k9

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Age: 40
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2016, 02:15:46 AM »
Decades of research support investors who beat the market are outliers in their profession.  Even the legends of investing usually had only a few years in a row before hitting some bad strides.  Are you seriously saying someone with this magic touch doesn't want to drum up more clients by telling everyone how awesome he is? What would he gain by staying in the shadows?
A "small" stash of money (less than, say 10 billion) is much easier to invest in than a big one. Of the "legendary" investors from the Graham school of investing, I think Walter Schloss is the best example. If I recall correctly, the guy closed his fund to new investors once he got enough customers, because having more money to invest would have been a burden. When a small or a nano cap is on a bargain because it is about to go bankrupt (Schloss' speciality), you can't invest tens of millions in it, so, the more customers you have, the harder your job gets.

AdrianC

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • Location: Cincinnati
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2016, 05:52:04 AM »
If an active investor keeps his fund small enough he doesn't have to share with the world anything he doesn't want to share. There are a lot of funds out there that don't have anything published for you to look at, and that's done on purpose. Current investors would be barred from sharing due to non-disclosures. You have to actually request to see their info and if you're not likely to invest a lot of money they won't share. Even if they do, you're barred from talking about it.

OK, but these funds are not anything we ordinary folks can get access to, so they are irrelevant. For anything we can invest in active generally loses to passive.

mizzourah2006

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 552
  • Location: NWA
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2016, 09:09:43 AM »
But http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-23/bernstein-passive-investing-is-worse-for-society-than-marxism

That piece could have been written for the Onion.

No, that piece was dead-on accurate. If all people only invested in passive index funds there would be no incentive for innovation. Every company would always have a constant proportional fit in society. There would be no new money for new technologies to push the old guard to get better or wither on the vine. In essence, that is what happened under Marxism.

This post shows no understanding of the role of equity market as a provider of capital to managers of businesses who take risk and invest capital to create value.  Active vs passive investment portfolio management has absolutely 0 to do with what managers do with the capital to grow their businesses.  Please explain your logic.  How can one person (using one criteria) vs another (using a different criteria) buying your stock impact your business decisions?

It is like a home mortgage.  The criteria a bank or a private investor uses to determine whether to write your loan or reject it has nothing to do with whether it is a good idea to buy a house or not.  The loan approval process has nothing to do with the risk of whether your house appreciates or not, or whether you increase its value by improvements. If one uses some complicated model of future value, while the other just evaluates your income and ability to pay makes no difference.  They approve the loan or don't.  They buy your stock or they don't.

Just thinking through this, but if all equity in the US market was passive investments and market cap indexed, what would be the incentive for management to innovate? They could never move up the line in market cap as every investor would be buying the exact same pre-determined % of each company. While market cap would continue to rise as more money flows into the market, it would be a pre-determined %. Using the S&P as an example Apple would get 2.88% of every dollar invested and GE would get 1.59%, etc., etc. While it is true that once the IPO hits the stock price has no direct impact on cash given to the company. Market cap has a huge impact on a company's ability to borrow money. Also, most executives receive a large proportion of their compensation through stock grants. In this way it theoretically incentivizes them to grow the company. If the market were 100% passive it would not be possible to grow the company as was demonstrated above.

Again, I'm not arguing with you, just trying to think through it.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 09:11:36 AM by mizzourah2006 »

k9

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Age: 40
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2016, 01:00:13 PM »
It's even worse: as an individual, I would be incited to create a company, even one with no business model at all, that doesn't produce anything, because I would then be part of the total market and, as such, receive my share of money from investors all around the world. My non-producing company would be worth as much as Apple.

But remember we're talking in the void, since that cannot happen. Proof: if everybody on earth was indexing, *I* would stop indexing and become a stock picker.

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1984
  • Age: 41
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2016, 02:01:53 PM »
If passive funds invested in a company according to its ROI rather than its market cap we would go from "Marxism" to "Capitalism"?

I have played around with software optimization methods and it can be crazy how a 'small' change in what you are ranking or how you are ranking it can affect your over all performance. 

k9

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Age: 40
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2016, 02:54:01 PM »
That's what "smart beta" index funds are trying to achieve.

Vagabond76

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Destin, FL
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2016, 03:34:49 PM »
If passive funds invested in a company according to its ROI rather than its market cap we would go from "Marxism" to "Capitalism"?

I have played around with software optimization methods and it can be crazy how a 'small' change in what you are ranking or how you are ranking it can affect your over all performance.

Perhaps, but a companies return on invested capital fluctuates more than market cap.  It will even go negative from time-to-time.  Index fund managers will go crazy buying and selling shares, including shorting companies with negative returns.  This is hardly "passive" investing.

mgarf

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Alberta
Re: Article claims "passive" (index) investing doesn't outperform "active"
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2016, 02:09:26 PM »
The definitive "proof" that an active strategy never beats the index (more than would be expected by chance) was done by Fama and French and explained in layman's-ish terms here:

https://www.dimensional.com/famafrench/essays/luck-versus-skill-in-mutual-fund-performance.aspx

Basically, they looked at all available historical data on mutual funds and found that, aggregated, no mutual fund beat the market (after fees) greater than chance.