S&P Dow Jones released its 2019 midyear persistence scorecard Monday. The report highlights equity mutual funds' ability to remain in the top quartile of their peer group over time, with few funds able to keep up top-quartile performance over the long term.
Using March 2017 as a starting point, only 11.36% of the funds that ranked the top quartile of their peer group at that time held that distinction at the end of March 2019. Midcap and small-cap equity funds had a higher survival rate compared with large-cap funds. All fund categories saw an improvement in the six months between September and March, again except for large-cap funds, with more funds returning to their respective top quartiles.
Persistence declines further when looking at longer time periods. S&P found that none of large-, mid- and multicap equity funds remained in the top quartile after starting there in March 2014, with only 0.75% of small-cap funds still among the top performers in March 2019.