Active returns bounce back in 2019
Funds managed by the largest active managers were overall able to outperform their benchmarks for the most part in 2019. MFS Investment Management and T. Rowe Price Group had the highest average excess returns among their active fund offerings. The managers' average excess returns were 1.45% and 1.24% percentage points, respectively. More than 70% of MFS' funds topped their benchmarks; 53.4% of T. Rowe's funds outperformed.
U.S. small-cap equity funds performed well vs. their benchmarks during the year for both mangers. T. Rowe's technology sector fund was its top excess performer, outperforming its benchmark by 11% percentage points.
On the other end of the spectrum, American Funds average excess returns fell below their three-year means. The manager's large-cap U.S. equity funds struggled against their indexes. American's popular EuroPacific growth fund and emerging markets offering, however, outperformed their indexes by almost 5% percentage points each.