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Active Mutual Funds Are Losing Out To Passive Funds (Morningstar)
According to John Rekenthaler from Morningstar, passive funds are overtaking active funds. Over the past year, net sales were 68% passive funds and 32% active funds. He also mentioned the success of international active funds, as well as exploring alternatives.
“One difference between domestic and international active investing is that the top international funds tend to stay that way,” Rekenthaler wrote. “While star domestic funds tend to come and go, successful international funds generally remain above average. Such consistency supports the decision to invest actively overseas. Still, the indexes are knocking on the door, and knocking hard; Vanguard Total International Stock Index and Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index are each in the top 20% of their groups so far this year. Active managers won’t be able to resist such pressure for long.
“…Indeed, aside from alternative investing, there’s no place remaining where active managers are safe from passive competition,” according to Rekenthaler. “…However, the trend seems clear. Active managers have become the periphery. As the slogan goes, there is core and then there is explore. Active management is no longer core.”
“Dilbert” cartoon creator Scott Adams, who has a degree in economics, said in a blog post that advisors “are mostly a waste of your time,” Ann Marsh from Financial Planning reported. His blog post said that professional investment advisors are the main reason stock investments are risky.
“Every study on the topic shows that the professionals generally don’t beat the market average over time. But they do cause a lot of churn that causes a lot of unnecessary taxpaying on gains,” Adams wrote.
Others responded that financial advisors do more than just pick stocks for clients to generate fees. “Perhaps you have the time, inclination, knowledge, and discipline to do these things on your own. … But most investors, left on their own, will forfeit more than the [approximately] 1% potential fee in mistakes or missed opportunities,” one person told Financial Planning.
Josh Brown of Ritholtz Wealth Management also told the publication, “People forget that investment advisers in general do not spend a lot of time these days picking stocks. There’s a lot more to professional investing help than pretending you can beat the market.”
Using Strategic Beta Funds Is The Key To Incorporating Both Active And Passive Investing (Wall Street Journal)
Instead of choosing whether to go with active or passive investing strategies, Brian Jacobs from Direxion suggested the best approach would be to incorporate both. Strategic beta funds use a rules-based approach to managing your portfolio.
“I think the popularity of beta strategies can be attributed to three factors,” Jacobs said. “The first factor is the shift in the advising world of managing client’s money toward specific outcomes. No one wakes up in the morning thinking that they really need a global macro fund. Advisers look at a client’s needs, whether they be lower risk, the generation of more income, or better risk adjusted return, and seek the easiest, most transparent way to deliver those outcomes. Strategic beta funds are one tool that can help do that.”
“If advisers can use strategic beta to manage towards client’s desired outcomes while delivering better risk-adjusted returns at a lower price point, it’s going to become a very valuable and powerful tool for them to draw on,” he said.
Jeffrey Gundlach’s DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund had the largest 12-month yield out of all other mortgage-backed securities funds at the end of July, Bloomberg reported. Now the fund’s assets are increasing amid a pull out from investors from competitors. In the first half of 2014, investors gave $US1.2 billion to DoubleLine, compared to the second-most popular fund which pulled in $US265 million.
“As the Federal Reserve began tapering its bond buying in January, signaling a possible rise in interest rates, Gundlach wagered correctly that they would fall due to a sputtering U.S. economy and a shift by pension funds to bonds from stocks. He sold cash and added Treasuries and government-backed MBS with longer durations to DoubleLine Total Return. He also bet that agency MBS prices would increase even as government purchases of the securities declined because of less issuance,” Alexis Leondis from Bloomberg said.
Your Financial Advisor Succession Plan Needs To Start Now (Wealth Management)
As figuring out how to transition our advisory practice becomes more complicated, it’s best to start as early as possible, wrote Wealth Management’s Phillip Flakes. Flakes recommended starting now, developing a process, identifying internal talent, and giving yourself ample time.
“One of the most important questions that you must ask is whether you want to transition to an internal candidate, or sell your practice on the open market. If you’re interested in internal succession, which most advisors are, it may be wise to start identifying candidates among your team who might be able to lead the business one day. Smart firms don’t wait until it’s time to elect a new managing partner or other key player in the firm. They use a continuous identification process to select future leaders and they focus on developing the unique set of technical, professional, client and leadership competencies required for the top position,” he said.
“Most heads of planning firms initially hope to transition their businesses to their employees,” Flakes said. “However they frequently don’t allow themselves enough time to effectively make that transfer. It is suggested to leave at least a five-year window to complete the process, and there is nothing wrong with starting much earlier. As counterintuitive as it sounds, those whose businesses are in the early growth stages should start to envision at least the broad outlines of their exit strategy. It’s never too early to start!”
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