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Active Index Investing: Maximizing Portfolio Performance and Minimizing Risk Through Global Index Strategies [Hardcover]

Steven A. Schoenfeld
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 10 2004 Wiley Finance (Book 138)
For over three decades, indexing has become increasingly accepted by both institutional and individual investors.  Index benchmarks and investment products that track them have been a driving force in the transformation of investment strategy from art to science. Yet investors’ understanding of the sophistication of this burgeoning field has lagged the growing use of index products.

Active Index Investing is the definitive guide to how indexes are constructed, how index-based portfolios are managed, and how the world’s most sophisticated investors use index-based strategies to enhance performance, reduce costs and minimize the risks of investing.

Active Index Investing provides a comprehensive overview of (1) the investment theories that are the foundation of index based investing, (2) best practices in benchmark construction, (3) the growing world of index-based investment vehicles, (4) cutting-edge index portfolio management techniq ues and (5) the myriad ways investors can and do capture the benefits of indexing.

Active Index Investing has a unique format that captures the views and perspectives of over 40 of the investment industry’s leading experts and practitioners, while maintaining a holistic view of this complex subject matter. In addition to the Appendix and Glossary within the book, it features an E-ppendix, available at www.IndexUniverse.com


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"[Active Index Investing, which] contains the contributions of some 50 pension fund officials shows there is nothing passive or apathetic about indexers in terms of investment innovation . . . Schoenfeld, a leader in expanding the use and understanding of indexing, has an intellectual's grasp of its concepts and a practitioner's ability to apply them . . . The 688-page book is an essential guide for anyone involved in portfolio management, active as well as passive." — Barry Burr, Editorial Page Editor, Pensions & Investments (January 10, 2005)

From the Inside Flap

For over three decades, both institutional and individual investors have increasingly accepted indexing. Index benchmarks and investment products that track them have been a driving force in the transformation of investment strategy from art to science. Yet investors’ understanding of the sophistication of this burgeoning field has lagged behind the growing use of index products. Active Index Investing aims to close that gap.
Active Index Investing is the definitive guide to how indexes are constructed, managed as portfolios, and used by investors. Filled with in-depth insight and practical advice, this book illustrates and analyzes every major asset class and covers the perspectives of index fund managers, index providers, institutional brokers, pension plan sponsors and other asset owners, financial advisors, and individual investors. It skillfully explains how the world’s most sophisticated investors use index-based strategies to enhance performance, reduce costs, and minimize the risks of global investing.
This comprehensive guide captures the views of over fifty leading practitioners from all spheres of the indexing world–while maintaining a holistic and balanced perspective of this complex subject. Besides pulling together the best minds in the investment business, editor and indexing expert Steven Schoenfeld also shares his considerable insights on this broad and important topic.
Active Index Investing is actually five books in one, with thirty-one chapters providing a comprehensive exploration of:
  • The theories and practical experience that are the foundations for indexing
  • The uses of indexes and best practices in benchmark construction
  • The ever-expanding range of index-based investment products and vehicles
  • Index portfolio management techniques for equity and fixed-income funds
  • Choosing between various index products and the ways in which sophisticated investors harness the overall benefits of indexing

Fittingly, for a subject so broad, the book’s scope doesn’t end with these topics, but continues in the book’s "E-ppendix"–www.ActiveIndexInvesting.com, partnered with the IndexUniverse.com Web site–which expands and updates the information and data provided in the book, facilitating even more perspectives to chronicle the ongoing development of this fascinating and dynamic field.

Active Index Investing is a practical and detailed guide to the art and science of index-based investing. It will show you how index-based strategies can be actively used to both minimize portfolio risk and maximize long-term performance.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not badly needed to be successful Nov. 27 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is an interesting but awfully long book. I don't think it was meant to be read cover to cover since the book is a collection of writings from different people. I find it, however, a little dated from the perspective of practicality, and especially in the case of a retail investor/trader. I think today an individual trader has at his or her disposal an array of powerful tools to gain an edge over institutions in "Maximizing Portfolio Performance and Minimizing Risk", which could interestingly be done by electronic trading of "Global Index Strategies". Options trading on index products and their related ETF products could be good examples. In pursuing that goal, a more effective book could be John Murphy's "Intermarket Analysis: Profiting From Global Market Relationships". Active Index Investing, however, is still a good source if you are managing a huge portfolio of say, stocks, in the old fashion way of buy and hold - the way mutual funds manage their funds. It is enough to say that their results speak for the methods.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for those interested in index funds/ETFs Sept. 27 2004
By Paul B. Elam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is quite simply contains the best information on the subject of indexing.

It tracks the beginnings of index products and pays respects to the pioneers that developed this type of investing. Mr. Shoenfeld thoroughly decribes the myriad of vehicles that are available for investors today (this list grows every day it seems).

But what really makes this book shine is the real-life examples and guest writers. Books about investment theory often lack concrete illustrations of the theories they espouse. Mr. Shoenfeld descibes in detail how and why individual investors, pension plans, and hedge funds use index products. In many cases, fund managers write the chapters. Getting this information "from the horse's mouth" allows insight into thought processes of those responsible for investing millions of dollars.

The scope of the book is amazing, and even more is available on the e-ppendix on the Web. Congratulations to the author on putting together a massive reference book on the subject of indexing.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why indexing is the starting point for your asset allocation Oct. 11 2004
By Quant Portfolio Manager - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
An important disclaimer: I am a specialist index portfolio manager a major index fund manager

This is an excellent book that contains all the important reasons why your asset allocation should start with indexing and then think about active managers (not the other way around - pick the market haystack, not the active manager needle). The important points have not changed over the years, including during the bear market of 2000-2001. The bottom line is that costs matter.

I was most impressed with chapter 19, which well describes the index portfolio management process and demonstrates how much more difficult it is to deliver benchmark returns than what people think. Every person who glibly retorts 'a trained monkey could manage an index fund' and 'what do you guys do all day anyway?' should read this. Index portfolio management is a unique challenge and we're always on a hiding to nothing to achieve this outcome.

The chapters are well researched and there are plenty of references for the interested reader.

It is a large book, but all the chapters are self contained and there is no loss of continuity by reading chapters individually.

I ended up giving it four stars however as the low quality paper on which it was printed makes the book feel a little cheap. For a $90 book the publishers could do better.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtuoso Performance! Aug. 18 2004
By An Educated Investor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an extremely well written and thoroughly informative guide to the important new world index investing. It's not a short book -- but it's perfectly organized into easily manageable chapters... and more of a page-turner than you'd expect.

The book works on multiple levels. Whatever your degree of investing sophistication, you'll find incredibly useful information. It's probably the only thing you need to read on index investing -- covering mutual funds, ETFs, and making sense of the now-huge variety of index-based investment options. And it's linked to a web site that will keep the book effectively current.

Buying the book was a modest investment that I'm sure will pay off nicely...
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding textbook Sept. 9 2004
By Lawrence Saez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Steve Schoenfeld's edited volume, "Active Index Investing," is a welcome addition to the literature on financial management. Although rigorous in content, its clear-to-follow chapters and illustrative sidebars combine to make this book extraordinarily useful as a primary textbook on MBA or executive education courses on financial analysis, financial instruments, fixed income asset pricing, and portfolio management. In addition, several chapters, including those dealing with enhanced indexing and benchmarks, will be of particular interest to scholars who are interested in the theoretical literature on portfolio management. Overall, "Active Index Investing" is a winner and gets my highest recommendation due to its clarity and breadth.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic concepts, but do not try this at home Oct. 15 2006
By Practical Allocator - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Indexing is definitely the most cost effective way to invest and to control how your assets are allocated. At the end of the day, what ultimately drives return, is an intelligent asset allocation strategy and minimizing costs. A good financial planner who believes in this strategy should help you implement the asset allocation and monitoring processes. If the proper investment tools are used you can have the investments and the investment advice for less than the cost of the average mutual fund.
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