Why It's So Hard to Beat the Market P1 | Common Sense Investing with Ben Felix | Summary and Q&A

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June 16, 2017
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Ben Felix
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Why It's So Hard to Beat the Market P1 | Common Sense Investing with Ben Felix

TL;DR

Active fund managers consistently underperform the market due to higher fees and lack of evidence of skill, making it difficult to find managers who can consistently beat the market.

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Key Insights

  • ✋ Active fund managers consistently underperform the market due to higher fees.
  • 🤞 Past success of managers may be attributed to luck rather than skill.
  • ✋ The increasing size and competitiveness of the active management industry hinders the ability to generate higher returns.
  • ⛔ Fund size can limit a manager's ability to outperform the market.
  • 😘 Passive funds with lower fees may be a more reliable option for investors.
  • 🍝 It is crucial to differentiate between managers who are skilled and those who have been lucky in the past.
  • 🖐️ Luck plays a significant role in the success of active fund managers.

Transcript

Active fund managers want earn better returns than the market, while taking less risk. I’ve talked about the shift toward index funds in Canada and the U.S., and how the prolonged poor performance of active funds is a driving force of that shift. While it seems logical that fund managers, some of the smartest, highest paid, and best equipped people... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do active fund managers consistently underperform the market?

Active fund managers have significantly higher fees compared to passively managed funds, which results in lower returns after fees. Additionally, there is little evidence of manager skill, indicating that past success may have been due to luck.

Q: Does the level of competition impact active fund performance?

Yes, as more skilled managers enter the active management business, luck becomes increasingly important in determining success. Research suggests that the increasing size of the actively managed fund industry negatively impacts active funds' performance.

Q: How does fund size affect active fund management?

When a successful manager's fund grows in size, their ability to outperform the market decreases. This is because it becomes challenging to find enough profitable investment opportunities, leading to the fund essentially becoming an expensive index fund.

Q: What are the implications of these challenges for investors?

Investors should be cautious when choosing active fund managers and be aware that finding a manager who consistently outperforms the market is extremely difficult. The evidence suggests that passive funds with lower fees may be a more reliable option.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Active fund managers struggle to beat the market primarily due to higher fees compared to passively managed funds.

  • Research suggests that there is little to no evidence of manager skill, indicating that past success may be due to luck rather than expertise.

  • The increasing size of the actively managed fund industry and the level of competition make it challenging to generate higher returns.

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