Who Wins the ‘Passive vs. Active’ Institutional Debate? Pt. 6: U.S. Intermediate-Term Bonds

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In my previous articles in this series on which mutual fund categories reward active or passive investing approaches, we’ve analyzed all the core equity categories, such as U.S. Large Cap, SMID Cap, and Foreign Large Cap.

So I decided to jump to the fixed income side of the portfolio, as the emerging market equity screening generated no index funds from the institutional space. Bond market –here we come! Keep in mind I’m using Morningstar Direct as my source of screening, testing and research on return/expense data points.  

So how does the U.S. Intermediate-term Bond space fare in the debate? My points of fund screening include the following:

  • Morningstar Category = Intermediate-Term Bond
  • Fixed Income/Style Box (Long) = Medium
  • Investment Area = United States of America
  • Fund Inception Date = < 12/31/1999 (For a true picture of a 15-year return period comparison, as anything shorter than 10 years, I believe, can easily be misinterpreted.)
  • Fund Share Class = Institutional Only

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