April 3, 2020

Equity Funds Post Worst Quarterly Returns Since Q4 2008

by Tom Roseen.

U.S. investors pushed equity funds to their worst quarterly performance since Q4 2008 in Q1 2020 as a novel coronavirus played havoc on the world’s citizens and an oil reduction dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia and a subsequent decline in global oil demand sent oil prices to an 18-year low. For Q1 2020, the average equity fund posted a 22.33% decline, with Lipper’s Alternative Equity Funds macro-classification (-4.56%) mitigating losses better than the other six major equity groups for the first quarter in five. In this segment, I highlight the Q1 and March 2020 performance results for equity mutual funds and ETFs.


  • For Q1 2020, equity funds (-22.33% on average) posted their worst quarterly returns since Q4 2008. Lipper’s Alternative Equity Funds macro-classification (-4.56%) mitigated losses better than the other six broad-based equity group, followed by Mixed Assets Funds (-15.20%) and Commodities Funds (-19.08%).
  • The Alternative Equity Funds and Commodities Funds macro-classifications housed four of the five best performing classifications in the equity universe for Q1, with Dedicated Short Bias Funds (+33.25%) posting the strongest returns in the equity universe.
  • The Domestic Sector Equity Funds macro-classification was dragged down by poor quarterly performance from Energy MLP Funds (-51.49%) and Natural Resources Funds (-44.54%).
  • Large-cap (-19.45%) and growth-oriented (-18.14%) domestic equity funds outpaced the other capitalization and style groups for Q1, with small-cap and value-oriented funds taking it on the chin.

Click here or the Download Full Report link in the upper right-hand column of this page to download the First Quarter 2020 FundMarket Insight Report: Equity Funds Post Worst Quarterly Returns Since Q4 2008.

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