In September 2013, Capital Group published a study that “argued that its stock-picking mutual funds outperformed their benchmark indexes in the majority of almost 30,000 periods examined over the past 80 years. That included 57 percent of one-year stretches, 67 percent of 5-year periods and 83 percent of 20-year ranges. The Capital Group study examined 17 of the company’s mutual funds that invest in equities or both equities and bonds. It measured their performance over every one-, three-, five-, 10-, 20- and 30-year period, on a rolling monthly basis, from Dec. 31, 1933, through Dec. 31, 2012.”
Still, “only about 13% of actively managed, large-company stock funds posted returns above that of the S&P 500 for 2014,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Although the SEC notice did not specify whether American Funds will issue active or passive ETFs, the firm’s reputation for active management implies the company would favor actively managed ETFs, a still small, but fast-growing segment of the ETF business. Some industry observers also see actively managed ETFs being a key driver of ETF industry growth in the coming years. For the week ending Jan. 16, U.S.-listed actively managed ETFs had a combined $17.24 billion in AUM with nearly half that total allocated to PIMCO and First Trust ETFs, according to AdvisorShares data.
While that is just a fraction of the overall U.S. ETF industry, increased demand for active ETFs and the potential for a more favorable regulatory environment could make actively managed ETFs a $500 billion asset class by 2020, according to a report by published SEI Investments last year. [Big Growth Seen for Active ETFs]
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.