Equity Strategies

Athena organizes the active equity mutual fund universe around the investment strategies being pursued by managers. This system, known as Strategy Based InvestingTM (SBI), is based on years of our own research and is consistent with independent studies conducted by top academic researchers from around the country.

Using a sophisticated, patented algorithm along with 60,000+ pieces of strategy information, Athena first identifies the self-declared strategy being pursued by active equity mutual funds. Once a mutual fund is strategy identified, Athena forms Strategy Peer Groups consisting of funds pursuing the same primary strategy. These groups are listed below. 

Athena Strategy Benchmarks, created from the composite return series of the Strategy Peer Groups, are designed to help investors appropriately benchmark active equity managers by grouping funds which pursue the same primary investment strategy. The Strategy Benchmarks are composed of all open-end active mutual funds pursuing a stated investment strategy.

Strategy Benchmark composition is not determined by arbitrary portfolio statistics but by active equity managers' own stated investment strategy, which can be found in the funds' prospectuses. Identifying and categorizing managers by their investment strategy leads to more meaningful peer groups within asset classes. Athena maintains and publishes 10 US Equity Strategy Benchmarks and 10 International Equity Strategy Benchmarks.

The resulting fund peer groups exhibit several notable advantages:

  • Managers are free to pursue their stated investment strategy
  • Managers following similar investment processes are grouped together
  • Strategy based peer groups remain stable over time, allowing for meaningful long-term comparisons
  • Managers can be ranked by the consistency and conviction with which they pursue their strategy

For current information on Strategy Benchmark performance and comparisons, download the Strategy Summary on the right side of this page. For greater detail about the construction and benefits of the Strategy Peer Group methodology, please refer to the Academic Bibliography page in the Athena Advisor Center.

Explore the Equity Strategy Peer Groups

  • Competitive Position

    Competitive Position

    Fund managers seek companies with traits such as high-quality management, defensible market position and a track record of innovation.

  • Economic Conditions

    Economic Conditions

    Fund managers start with a top-down approach and, using macro-economic forecasting, work their way down to favored industries and stocks.

  • Future Growth

    Future Growth

    Fund managers search for companies poised to grow rapidly relative to others, but are not limited to stocks that traditionally fall under the “growth” category.

  • Market Conditions

    Market Conditions

    Fund managers take into consideration a stock’s recent price and volume history relative to the market and similar stocks as well as the overall stock market conditions.

  • Opportunity


    Employing strategies popular with hedge funds, these managers focus on market imbalances that are driven by events such as earnings surprises, mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs and companies “going private.”

  • Profitability


    Fund managers favor companies with impressive gross, operating and net margins and/or return on equity.

  • Quantitative


    Fund managers using mathematical and statistical modeling with little or no regard to company or market fundamentals.

  • Risk


    Fund managers look to control overall risk, with increasing returns as a secondary consideration.

  • Social Considerations

    Social Considerations

    Corporate social responsibility, ecological awareness or religious tenets are a factor for these fund managers when selecting companies. The fund manager may look for these traits or for a lack of these traits.

  • Valuation


    Fund managers use financial statements, ratios, and other information to determine stock valuations and invest in companies that are underpriced, but are not limited to stocks that have traditionally been labeled as “value.”


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Phone:   (877) 430-5675
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Email:     support@athenainvest.com