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Active-Manager Revenge Gains Steam as Funds Thrash Benchmarks

  • Industrial bets pay off with holdings rising to five-year high
  • It’s credit to fund managers who’ve been under passive attack

Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

If you’re wondering why index-tracking funds are suddenly losing more money this year than active managers in the stock market, look no further than their performance.

Two months into 2019, more than half of mutual funds have beat benchmarks, a rate that if sustained would mark the industry’s best year in a decade, data compiled by Goldman Sachs showed. Helping their scorecards are the prescient bets on industrial and energy stocks, which have rebounded from the fourth-quarter sell-off faster than almost any other S&P 500 groups.