Bridge over ocean
16 June 2022 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 78, Issue 3

Fund Selection: Sense and Sensibility

  1. Guido Baltussen
  2. Stan Beckers
  3. Jan Jaap Hazenberg
  4. Willem Van Der Scheer, CFA
The authors find that, on average, active equity funds outperform, active fixed income funds underperform, and fees consume much of active management’s value added. Simple fund-selection rules can help identify better active managers.
Read the Complete Article in the Financial Analysts Journal CFA Institute Member Content


Studying a comprehensive universe of European-domiciled cross-border UCITS equity and fixed income funds we find that (i) active equity funds on average outperform passive alternatives before fees by about the level of the fees, (ii) active fixed income funds underperform on a net basis, (iii) fees consume a significant part of the value added of active management, (iv) simple fund selection rules help to identify the better active managers. Finally, we develop the concept of minimum required selection skill and find that investors in actively managed funds could meet this hurdle provided fees are limited.

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