Is there a role for both active and passive investments in your portfolio?

by | Mar 8, 2024 | Investment | 0 comments

There’s often a spirited debate between proponents of active and passive strategies. Each camp champions its approach, extolling the virtues of its chosen method. The question isn’t about choosing one over the other. It is about finding the right balance between active and passive investments. Finding the right balance will both optimize portfolio performance and manage risk.

Understanding Active and Passive Investments

Let’s start by defining these two approaches:

Active Investing

This involves attempting to outperform the market by buying and selling securities. They use research, analysis, and market forecasts. Mutual funds managed by professionals and hedge funds are examples of active investing.

Passive Investing

Passive investing tries to replicate the performance of a specific market index or benchmark rather than trying to beat it. These investors use low-cost investments such as index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Index funds and ETFs hold the same securities as the index they track. Passive investors believe in market efficiency. They prefer a more hands-off approach to investing.

The Case for Active Investments

Proponents of active investing argue that skilled fund managers can capitalize on market inefficiencies, identify undervalued assets, and generate superior returns. They believe active management can lead to outperforming the market over the long term. Active strategies can offer the potential for downside protection during market downturns.

The Case for Passive Investments

Advocates of passive investing emphasize the benefits of simplicity, lower costs, and broad diversification. By tracking market indices, passive investors gain exposure to market segments. This approach can spread risk across many securities. The low fees associated with passive investment can translate into higher returns over time. Passive strategies also offer transparency and consistency.

Achieving Balance in Your Portfolio

The debate between active and passive investing continues. Many investors find that blending both approaches can offer the best of both worlds. By incorporating elements of active and passive strategies into their portfolios, investors can leverage the strengths of each while mitigating their respective weaknesses.

1. Core-Satellite Approach: The portfolio core consists of low-cost, broadly diversified index funds or ETFs, providing exposure to various asset classes. Surrounding this core are satellite positions in actively managed funds or individual securities. This allows for potential alpha generation and targeted exposure to specific market opportunities.

2. Tactical Asset Allocation: Investors can also employ a tactical asset allocation strategy, where they periodically adjust their portfolio allocations based on changing market conditions, economic outlooks, or valuation metrics. This allows investors to capitalize on short-term opportunities or navigate market downturns more effectively while maintaining a long-term passive investment framework.

3. Factor-Based Investing: This approach combines elements of both active and passive strategies. Focusing on specific factors such as value, momentum, or quality, investors can tilt their portfolios towards characteristics associated with higher returns. At the same time, they maintain a broad market exposure through passive index funds.

The debate between active and passive investing isn’t about picking sides—it’s about finding the right balance for your portfolio. The optimal strategy will depend on individual goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.

By blending active and passive investments, investors can harness the benefits of diversification, and cost-efficiency, while navigating the complexities of today’s dynamic financial markets. The key is to remain disciplined, stay informed, and periodically reassess your investment strategy. This ensures it aligns with your objectives and evolving market conditions.

The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

Eric Riggenbach

Executive Director

I have been in the financial and insurance industry since 1990 and began my career while pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.

For the last 30 years, I have embraced further education by obtaining a Securities registration, and further education with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Cambridge.