Managed futures

As a result, the long-term return to a passively managed, unlevered futures position should be the risk-free return on invested capital less management fees and transaction costs I thought that managed futures have absolute return objectives and they do not have benchmarks, how could they be passively managed?

Passively managed in the sense that I am just going to buy a WTI Crude contact and let is sit to expiry - and that’s all I’m going to do as the manager. Theoretically this would just earn the risk free - less fees, etc.

However, a levered and actively managed futures fund would be buying/selling contracts and earning a different return than the risk free rate. Also managed futures don’t necessarily aim to have an absolute return objective. Some do, others don’t. I can think of a specific fund that aims to earn the return on the S&P 500 with half the volatility rather than target a total return of x% over a market cycle. Whether they have actually done this is a different story…