Stock pickers are beating the market in unusually large numbers this year, raising the age-old question about whether their success can be attributed more to luck or skill.
Nearly 70% of the roughly 2,850 actively managed US stock mutual funds with the stated goal of beating the S&P 500 Index have done so this year through last week. That’s a vast improvement from last year, when just 15% of US large-cap stock pickers beat the market, according to S&P’s latest SPIVA report tracking the performance of active managers. It’s also much higher than normal. On average, roughly 35% of managers have outpaced the S&P 500 in any calendar year, based on annual results back to 2007.