Eq: Dev ex-US

(New York)

The move towards passive management has been worthy of the term “flood”, with investors pouring funds into ETFs and out of mutual funds. Fees have been a major part of that shift, but performance has been too, as active management performance has been broadly weak over the last decade. However, there are some areas where mutual funds have significantly outperformed passives—international funds. Especially in emerging markets (e.g. India and Mexico), but also in developed ones like the UK and Italy, 10-year track records show significant outperformance for active managers. The opposite is true in US funds.

FINSUM: Sifting through market opportunities gets harder and harder (and finding alpha alongside it) as you move into less liquid markets. Accordingly, we think there is a lot of benefit to using actively managed funds for international stocks.


The journey of Brexit has been long, winding, and utterly confusing at times. However, it is all headed for a dramatic conclusion. PM May has called for a Parliamentary vote on her plan on March 12, just a couple of weeks before the UK is supposed to formally depart the EU. However, the pushback on the left has been so strong that opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn now looks poised to call for a second referendum on EU membership. He announced the position yesterday, marking a major change in position.

FINSUM: We absolutely dismiss the view that holding a second referendum is “undemocratic”. The vote was almost three years ago now and no one could have foreseen the deal Britain might get, so it only makes sense to have another vote.


If you look at it from the outside, a second Brexit referendum has had the feeling of inevitably for at least a year now. The chaos and unexpected fallout from the fraught negotiations between the EU and UK have made it seem likely that the British people would need to settle the matter with another vote. That expectation is now looking likely to turn into a reality as Britain’s opposition party, Labour is backing a plan to bring forward a second vote.

FINSUM: In our mind, the claims that holding a second vote is undemocratic are ridiculous. On the one hand, no voter back in 2016 could have known how this Brexit mess would actually progress, which means the people should get a second chance to decide on the deal at hand. On the other, how can a whole nation voting on an issue ever be considered undemocratic?

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