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UK active managers fail to prove their mettle in a bear market

UK active managers fail to prove their mettle in a bear market

Nearly half of active funds in the UK failed to outperform their benchmark in the first six months of 2020, undermining longstanding claims that stock pickers shine in times of high market volatility.

Since January, 45 per cent of actively managed UK equity funds underperformed the S&P UK BMI benchmark, with 49 per cent falling short over the past 12 months, according to an S&P indices versus active funds (Spiva) report. Over 10 years, more than two-thirds of active funds failed to outperform the benchmark, the research said.

The pitch by active managers is that while they might underperform in bull markets, they prove their mettle in times of volatility.

Active funds promise more returns with less risk than an index tracker fund, said Ben Johnson, director of global exchange traded fund research at Morningstar. “The more that fails to pan out, the more we see investors vote with their precious investment capital and move into tracker funds, which is the trend we see panning out,” he added.

The Spiva report showed that half of euro-denominated global equity funds underperformed the global index in the past year.

Andrew Innes, European head of global research at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that despite record levels of volatility, “the widely held belief that market volatility should create widespread opportunities for active managers remained unproven”.

Nineteen of 23 fund categories displayed negative returns on an asset-weighted basis since January, showing the widespread impact of the economic downturn across sectors, according to the S&P Global data. Performance of active funds varied widely, the research group said.

According to Calastone data released on Wednesday, active funds have not experienced net capital inflows over the past four years, despite remaining the largest category by value.

They have come under fire for their poor performance, which critics

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125 Live gets creative for ‘Active Aging Week’

125 Live gets creative for ‘Active Aging Week’

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Aging is a reality for everyone, and it’s impossible to stop the hands of time. That’s why taking care of health is important through all phases of life.

“Active Aging Week” at 125 Live began on Monday. There were activities every day to celebrate. Members enjoyed special outdoor and indoor group exercise classes, extended pool hours and ceramic painting.

125 Live has gotten creative during the pandemic. The organization adapted to help their older adult members, which included curbside work outs and working with insurance companies to help offset membership costs.

Operations Director Ken Baerg said their strategy seems to be working.

“On the normal weekday in January, before the pandemic, we would see roughly about 600 people coming in and out of the building everyday,” Baerg said. “Then after we reopened, after the closure, we had low numbers. Maybe 150, 200 people in day. Now, we are starting to get back to 300 to 400 people in a day. We are starting to regain a lot of confidence from our members.”

Baerg said their safety protocols are stricter than the “Stay Safe, MN” orders. He said masks are mandatory and capacities are more restricted, even beyond state guidelines.

He said they have plans for the colder months, which include an outdoor “Polar Bear” class.

“We got a brave trainer to do it,” Baerg said. “If the temperature is no lower than 32 degrees, we will have the class outside. We are starting to see people come out of their shell and realizing they can still have social interactions with their friends while still staying as safe as possible.”

Baerg said they do have to remind people to not hug their friends because of social distancing.

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Creative Ways To Stay Active While Working From Home

Creative Ways To Stay Active While Working From Home

By Allison Goldberg

With quarantine stretching on, most gyms and classes remaining closed, and the average commute now being 3.5 seconds, it’s pretty hard to get those steps in. Fortunately, there are creative ways to prevent all of one’s muscles from atrophying while working from home indefinitely. 

The benefits of a non-sedentary lifestyle are countless, from reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, to improved cognitive function and decreased anxiety and depression. And yet, a 2018 study revealed that in the U.S. “about 1 in 4 sit for more than 8 hours a day, 4 in 10 are physically inactive, and 1 in 10 report both.”

Take A Cue From Japan

From anime, to cat cafes, to ice cream that doesn’t melt, Japan is crushing it. Add workplace exercise to the list. While American companies often give gym memberships as perks, Japanese companies began building exercise right into the workday years ago. And there are benefits to the bottom line, which is something U.S. businesses should embrace. Japan Airline’s Chief Director of Health (which, yes, is apparently a position) has stated that the company now registers fewer sick days and insurance costs.

For now, team leaders should create 5-minute workouts that blend right in with productivity. For instance, after a morning meeting, try the Pomodoro Technique, in which people work for 25 minutes straight, and then take a 3-5 minute break. After 4 pomodoros, take a 15-30 minute break. During any of these breaks, meet up with colleagues for quick stretches and workouts.


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