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Index funds beat hedge funds, mutual funds

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Research from Mark Kritzman, president and chief executive of Windham Capital Management of Boston, shows basic stock index funds may outperform hedge funds and actively managed mutual funds in the long run, The New York Times reports.

Kritzman studied three hypothetical investments — a stock index fund with an annualized return of 10 percent, an actively managed mutual fund with an annualized return of 13.5 percent and a hedge fund with an annualized return of 19 percent — to determine the long-term impact of expenses, including transaction costs, taxes and management and performance fees. Those expenses ate away gains from the better-performing hedge funds and mutual funds.

“Mr. Kritzman calculates that just to break even with the index fund, net of all expenses, the actively managed fund would have to outperform it by an average of 4.3 percentage points a year on a pre-expense basis. For the hedge fund, that margin would have to be 10 points a year,” the Times writes.

The paper cites Morningstar research that shows only 13 of the 452 domestic equity mutual funds over 20 years old in that company’s database beat index funds by at least four percentage points.

Read more on Kritzman’s research here.