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Active Investing

As we had learned about the inner-workings of passive investing in the previous edition, we will now focus our attention on passive management’s counterpart, active investing (active management). Under this type of investment management, managers take a more proactive approach in effort to achieve optimal returns and to outperform the market.

What is active investing and how does it work? This investment strategy uses the human touch to actively manage an investment portfolio. Managers will utilize analytical research, forecasts, as well as their own investment experience, expertise and judgment in an effort to make the best possible investment decisions regarding what securities to buy, sell or hold. Active managers tend to believe that short-term price movements are significant and that these movements can often times be predicted. They are not bound by any single index fund’s performance potential and can deploy a multitude of strategies with the goal of outperforming an investment benchmark index. Some of the strategies used by active fund managers to construct their portfolios include risk arbitrage, short positions, option writing and asset allocation.

Passive vs Active Investing

Now that we have a working knowledge of both passive and active investing, let’s compare the two. While some individuals may be best suited for a passive approach, others may find active investing to be a better choice. There are many different components that must be analyzed and assessed before deciding whether actively managed mutual funds or passively managed index funds are the best fit for your own facts, circumstances and financial future.

            There is no such investment or strategy that can possibly fit the needs of every investor. It is crucial that you, as the investor, work with a seasoned financial professional who can educate and guide you appropriately. An individual that would be best suited by passive investing is someone who is looking for a simple, cost effective method of investing. As a passive investor, you must be content to perform as well or as poorly as the index. Meanwhile, an active investor believes that portfolio managers can add value to their portfolio by discovering opportunities in the markets that will allow them to outperform their appropriate benchmarks.