Indices and Passive Investment Management
Passive management is an investing strategy involving investing in index funds, which are structured as mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that track market indices.
The SPIVA (S&P Indices vs. Active) annual "U.S. Scorecard", which measures the performance of indices versus actively managed mutual funds, finds the vast majority of active management mutual funds underperform their benchmarks, such as the S&P 500 Index, after fees.
Since index funds attempt to replicate the holdings of an index, they eliminate the need for — and thus many costs of — the research entailed in active management, and have a lower churn rate (the turnover of securities, which can result in transaction costs and capital gains taxes).
Unlike a mutual fund, which is priced daily, an exchange-traded fund is priced continuously, is optionable, and can be sold short.
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