South African Actuarial Journal

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An investigation into South African general equity unit trust performance during different economic periods

DE Bertolis, M Hayes


This paper investigates the performance of South African general equity unit trusts relative to the FTSE/JSE All Share Index during the period January 1994 to December 2012. The period under investigation was split into six further sub-periods each having a specific economic cycle: a downturn, average  growth or robust growth. Unit trusts are shown to have underperformed in economic downturns and outperformed in periods of robust growth, while no conclusions can be made about unit trust performance during periods of average growth. Overall, unit trusts showed slight outperformance, but this was not found to be persistent.

KEYWORDS: South Africa; unit trusts; equity; economy; unit trust investment managers; alpha; beta
AJOL African Journals Online