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CalPERS potential move underscores benefit of passive investing

Q: I read an article saying that California’s public-employee pension fund is considering replacing its actively managed investments with passive ones. Why is this major news?

A: With about 256 billion in assets from 1.6 billion state and local employees, the California Public Employee Retirement System CalPERS, is the largest public pension fund in the nation. Just as you invest your 401k money in the stock market, CalPERS invests pension money on behalf of its members. It’s one of the largest institutional investors in the world.

Because CalPERS is the big kahuna of pension funds, investors always wants to know what it’s doing. When CalPERS makes any changes, or considers making them, it’s headline news.

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