In “Passions Run High On Indexing,” New York Times columnist Joe Nocera writes about the conflict between traditional and fundamental indexers that has been running in the Financial Analysts Journal. He does what I suggest in my investment commentary workshop. He picks a controversial topic from a professional journal, then explains it in non-technical terms.
Nocera’s article is more about what he calls “an old-fashioned academic cat fight” than the indexing debate. If you tackle this topic for your clients, I suggest you focus on the latter rather than the former.
But Nocera does eventually express an opinion on the substance of the debate. He agrees with Jack Bogle that fundamental index funds are a form of active management. “… they ain’t index funds, and they shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for index funds. Mr. Arnott and his allies would better serve investors by saying so out loud,” writes Nocera.