A. Yes, international small cap growth funds might be such an area a yearthat active managers win over passive index investing.
Based on a 2013 study published at Journal of Investing by Abhay Kaushik, a finance professor at Radford University - the average foreign small-cap growth fund beat its benchmark by 3.18% per year over a 20-year period from 1992 to 2011. The study has factored in the survivor bias (funds closed after long string of bad performances), and found persistence in winners beating the benchmarks.
Unfortunately, it is the only category, out of 14 total, that Kaushik found active wins over passive investment.
In next blog post, we will discuss what are the possible explanations on such outstanding performance by actively managed funds.