Are we looking for investment answers in all the wrong places?

One of the most seductive words in investing is “because.” If one understands the “because,” many investors believe, then the answer to “what happens next” is assumed to be within reach. Ideally, a logical pattern emerges that indicates future price direction, and the risk of investing can be managed.

A multi-billion-dollar industry is focused on supplying the “because” of financial markets’ behavior. Prices were up today because … Prices were down because … There are a host of reasons for every market action and for the direction of the next market move.

Well-known market technician Ralph Acampora maintained in early November that the stock market was in bad shape—worse than many Wall Street investors appreciate. “Honestly, I don’t see the low being put in yet and I think we’re going to go into a bear market,” he said.

Tom McClellan, another high-profile chart technician and publisher of the McClellan Market Report, told MarketWatch at roughly the same time that the recent action was more a function of seasonal volatility associated with October, and not a more significant upending of a 10-year bull market.

Two highly respected market technicians, two opposing viewpoints. Is one right and the other wrong, or is a coin toss just as reliable a forecast?

The principles of modern finance are very much a result of the human need to understand the “because” of market behavior and to define future behavior through a series of “rules.” The efficient market hypothesis, modern portfolio theory, the efficient frontier, the capital asset pricing model, and a multitude of market theorems seek to impose order on financial markets. Unfortunately, these theories fail when they are needed most: when market trend changes direction. Among their greatest fallacies is trying to fit financial market behavior into a statistical bell curve.

Markets are ‘wilder and milder’ than expected

On Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Index fell 29.2%. Based on a “normal” distribution—the logic that underlies beta and the calculation of risk—the probability of that happening was less than one in 1050 (10 to the 50th power). Oct. 19 was by no means an isolated anomaly. Market moves are much more volatile and extreme than predicted by a normal distribution. The use of algorithms and computerized trading promise to accentuate and compress volatility even more going forward.

FIGURE 1: DISTRIBUTION OF ACTUAL RETURNS DEVIATES FROM ‘EXPECTED’ DISTRIBUTION

Source: Bob Maynard, chief investment officer at the Public Retirement System of Idaho,
“Managing Risk in a Complex World.” October 2014.

According to probability statistics, a loss greater than 3.9% should have occurred seven times during the 82 years from 1928 to 2010. In reality, there were more than 151 single-day declines in excess of 3.9%. The probability of the Oct. 19, 1987, Dow decline of 29.2% in one day was, statistically speaking, virtually impossible. The probability that the Dow would record single-day drops of 3.5%, 4.4%, and 6.8% in one month was 1 in 20 million. Bob Maynard, chief investment officer for the Public Retirement System of Idaho put his view of market behavior succinctly and memorably in an article in 2014: Markets are “wilder and milder” than expected.

Does chaos theory present a more realistic model for the markets?

The one theory that has proven to create the most accurate simulation of market behavior so far is chaos theory—and that theory changes the entire investment game.

Chaos theory says that in the real world, causes are usually obscure. Critical information is often unknown or unknowable, making it impossible to predict the fate of a complex system.

Chaotic systems are predictable for a while and then “appear” to become random. In “The Black Swan,” Nassim Taleb uses the term regime change to describe transitions in chaotic systems. “Black swan” events occur, he says, because rules developed from the observation of events never contain the full range of possibilities. Within that apparent randomness, however, are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and dependence on initial conditions. Chaos is not simply disorder, but the transition between one condition and the next.

Price changes are not independent of each other but rather have a “memory,” according to mathematician Benoit H. Mandelbrot (1924–2010). Contrary to the disclaimer that past performance is not indicative of future returns, chaos theory says today does, in fact, influence tomorrow.

An excellent book for rethinking the financial markets in the framework of chaos theory is “The (mis)Behavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin, and Reward,” published in 2004 by Mandelbrot and his co-author Richard Hudson. Mandelbrot makes it impossible to listen to a financial news program or read the market analysis of the day without thinking, “What a humbug.”

Reframing financial markets in the context of complexity gives greater insight into why investment theories and strategies can appear to work, only to fall into disarray when market conditions change. “The (mis)Behavior of Markets” shakes one out of habitual ways of viewing the markets to understand why active investment management is so essential. What has been true is not guaranteed to remain so. Is reversion to the mean a lasting phenomenon or one subject to change? Is there a way to measure value, or is it all relative to the current market? If changes too small to be commented on at the time are creating large differences in a later period, does the cause cited in the evening news have any validity? If directional change results not from factors that we are aware of but those not considered, does anything matter other than the present?

What matters in chaos theory is not the “because” but rather the present action of the market. Given that all of the initial conditions of a complex system are not fully knowable, it is impossible to predict the fate of a complex system.

It is, however, possible on a short-term basis to detect trends and patterns in the market and, most importantly, to accept the possibility and reality of a change in direction.

Unlike most books on the financial markets, “The (mis)Behavior of Markets” does not provide any investment answers or secrets of success, but rather focuses the reader on the realities of the market from a mathematician’s view, placing no value in averages or theories.

‘10 Heresies of Finance’

Toward the end, Mandelbrot sets forth “10 Heresies of Finance.” Below, his rules are listed and brief statements are derived from his explanations to give a flavor of his arguments. A full reading of the “10 Heresies” is warranted for a better understanding.

1. “Markets are turbulent.”

A turbulent process is one that proceeds in bursts and pauses and whose parts scale fractally, all interrelated from the start to the end of the journey.

A fractal is a pattern or shape whose parts echo the whole, as seen in Figure 2.

FIGURE 2: FRACTAL IMAGE

2. “Markets are very, very risky—more risky than the standard theories imagine.”

Turbulence is hard to predict, harder to protect against, hardest of all to engineer and profit from. Conventional finance ignores this.

3. “Market ‘timing’ matters greatly. Big gains and losses concentrate into small packages of time.”

What matters is the particular, not the average. Some of the most successful investors are those who did, in fact, get the timing right.

4. “Prices often leap, not glide. That adds to the risk.”

The mathematics of Louis Bachelier, Harry Markowitz, William Sharpe, Fisher Black, and Myron Scholes all assume continuous change from one price to the next. Given that equity prices do not change incrementally from one price to the next, but rather leap over gaps to the next price, their formulae simply do not work, especially in today’s fast-paced markets.

5. “In markets, time is flexible.”

The genius of fractal analysis is that the same risk factors, the same formulae, apply to a day as to a year, an hour as to a month. Only the magnitude differs.

6. “Markets in all places and ages work alike.”

One of the surprising conclusions of fractal market analysis is the similarity of certain variables from one type of market to another.

7. “Markets are inherently uncertain, and bubbles are inevitable.”

This one you should really read for yourself. It is a fascinating mind-bender, as it explores the consequences for financial markets of “scaling.”

8. “Markets are deceptive.”

People want to see patterns in the world. It is how we evolved. It is a bold investor, however, who would try to forecast a specific price level based solely on a pattern in the charts.

9. “Forecasting prices may be perilous, but you can estimate the odds of future volatility.”

It may well be that you cannot forecast prices, but evaluating risk is another matter entirely.

10. “In financial markets, the idea of ‘value’ has limited value.”

Value is a slippery concept and one whose usefulness is vastly overrated. The prime mover in a financial market is not value or price, but price differences; not averaging, but arbitraging.

***

In the end, there is only one number that really matters: the price provided by the market—not theories, hopes, or speculation. And that perhaps informs some of the most important tools of active investment management.

“Knowing the limits of our ability to predict is much more important than the predictions themselves. …”

— Tom Konrad, author and financial analyst

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Hilbert Financial Group. These opinions are presented for educational purposes only.

Source: Are we looking for investment answers in all the wrong places?

The Case for Active Over Passive Investing is Really About Investor Behavior

Most investors do not behave in ways that are consistent with the theoretical benefits of long-term passive investing. They will likely be better served by an actively managed approach.

The fact that we are still debating the merits of active versus passive investing more than 40 years after John Bogle launched the first index investment trust is a testament to how central that debate is to the very essence of investment management—and how rooted the underlying issues are in deep-seated investor behavior.

It also reflects that a simple comparison between an index fund and a group of actively managed mutual funds is an oversimplified representation of the issue. It happens to be a handy comparison because the data is widely available in the public domain, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect the realities involved. A behaviorist would note that most people don’t actually behave in ways that map to a totally passive strategy and that independent investment managers do not behave in a manner that is similar to the managers of public mutual funds. From this perspective, the whole debate is built on comparisons that do not accurately represent real behavior on either side, thus putting investor behavior itself at the core of the debate.

Nobel laureate and behavioral science pioneer Daniel Kahneman said, “Economists think about what people ought to do. Psychologists watch what they actually do.” This statement may have more relevance to active and passive investment management than people realize. Using an index fund to illustrate the returns from a passive strategy represents the economist’s approach—a representation of what people should do to achieve a long-term return equal to that of the broad market. The economist’s numbers may be valid, but the basis in behavioral reality is not. A psychologist would point out that buying and holding an index fund for a very long time is simply not how most people behave, even though the opportunity has been there for decades.

Both sides of the data comparison ignore behavioral reality

A single index fund fails to reflect behavioral reality since few investors or managers toss all of their assets into a single broad index fund and let it sit there for a decade or two. The pull of emotions, biases, and the need to exert control are simply too strong for most investors to ignore. As a result, even investors with the right intentions stray from a strict adherence to an index fund, thereby negating its hypothetical long-term benefit. And because there are so many index funds for different groups and sectors, a more common approach involves the construction of portfolios of different index funds, leading to periodic reallocations and rebalances, thereby injecting an active management component back into the equation.

Performance numbers on actively managed mutual funds may likewise misrepresent the behavioral reality of independent portfolio managers. Heavily constrained by the Investment Company Act of 1940, public fund managers are required to hold cash for redemptions, are restricted in leveraging or shorting, and are prohibited from using derivatives to hedge their holdings. As such, painting independent managers who are not bound by the 1940 Act with the same performance brush can be highly misleading.

Active mutual fund managers are also locked into their stated objectives and generally manage with the intention not to veer far from their benchmarks. So, comparing the performance of a single index fund to a group of actively managed mutual funds is almost like comparing you to a picture of you and declaring the real you to be better looking.

The allure of control and engagement

Choosing an index fund over active investment management removes the sense of control over one’s investment. While this is a plus for many people who don’t want control, or feel ill-equipped to handle it effectively, it does not fit everyone’s needs.

Risk tolerance and the desire for control are not constants among the investing populace, and behavioral studies also show that they vary with age, wealth, and life circumstances, not to mention the market environment. Many investors need tailored, flexible strategies that can dial the risk level up or down according to the variables mentioned above, getting more defensive or aggressive as conditions warrant. In most cases, active managers can supply these strategies better than the individuals themselves.

A final observation regarding engagement is that a lot of people with 401(k) programs or self-directed IRAs have control over those assets, but they are truly ill-equipped to manage them properly. Plan administrators provide only minimal education and are prohibited from making recommendations. I remember one example of a woman who spread her money equally over the 20 funds available in her 401(k) plan, thinking she was maximizing her diversification that way. Other plan participants select the index-fund option out of a paralysis about choosing from the other available options—they would like active help, but either it simply isn’t available to them or they are unaware that a growing number of plan administrators now provide that opportunity. Active portfolio management in these plans could undoubtedly benefit many of these employees, helping them to manage risk and feel more secure about their retirement fund.

The passive return argument and “hindsight bias”

Looking back over a 20- to 30-year horizon or longer, it is very easy to show how the markets recovered from sell-offs as large as those in 1987, 2000, and 2008. But that’s because there is now absolute certainty surrounding those rebounds. The problem with looking back at past events is that we experience “hindsight bias”—a distortion of the probabilities of a past event by the fact that we know the outcome with certainty. In other words, we forget how uncertain (and in some cases downright scary) those prior events were when they occurred.

As the markets were tumbling out of control in 2008 and prominent financial firms were going under, people might have been well-justified to have pulled their money out or reduce their exposure. Today’s 10-year or 20-year returns for passive investing assume that one remained completely invested during that entire period. For many people, that doesn’t jibe with the realities of the time and thus reaches a conclusion that might be theoretically correct but behaviorally invalid.

The illusion of the long-term average

Behavioral studies show that the human mind has systematic quirks about the way it deals with probabilities and statistics. Kahneman and psychologist Amos Tversky addressed some of these in their landmark paper on prospect theory, and they are as much a part of behavioral finance as the more well-known cognitive and emotional biases we exhibit. Among other things, prospect theory notes that people tend to distort actual probabilities, using instead a subjective version of those probabilities referred to as “decision weights.”

We also tend to confuse averages with means, and we tend to underestimate variance from the mean. You might be tempted to move to a city like Lakeport, California, once you see that the average temperature all year is 56 degrees and the average high temp is a balmy 72. But when you get there, prepare for summers in the 90s and 100s and winters as low as the teens and 20s. Similar surprises play out on the stock market. The long-term average return over the last century for the S&P 500 is just under 10%, yet the annual returns are rarely within one or two percentage points of 10% and have often been 20-30 percentage points above and below the average.

An analysis of rolling 10-year returns from passive funds in a recent article from Vanguard showed that “contrary to expectations, the average index-fund investor hasn’t exactly tracked the broad market. In fact, the excess returns versus those of a total market fund have fluctuated greatly, outperforming or underperforming the market by nearly 14% and 8%, respectively, at various intervals. … This suggests index-fund investors have been building active portfolios.”

So, while Nobel Prize-winning academics tell us that the market is such an efficient pricing mechanism that beating it through active management does not produce excess returns after transaction costs and management fees, they are correct. But they speak of averages, not variance. To be sure, there will be plenty of exceptions to the average—the laws of chance assure that, even before skill is considered at all. And while few exceptions will persist over a significant time period on a consistent basis, the human mind is a sucker for the laws of chance, as any casino will happily attest. The same mental aberrations that keep people flocking to lottery tickets and blackjack tables will also drive them to managers who they believe can help them beat the stock market. Right or wrong, average returns spell mediocrity for many people, and they would rather take the extra risk than settle for it.

Context bias: What a difference a half-century makes!

When John Bogle introduced the first index fund in 1975, mutual funds were enjoying so much success that the idea of a nonactive one was viewed not just with a yawn, but with disdain. The notion of an actively managed mutual fund was so ingrained across the population as a tribute to U.S. capitalism that some competitors tried to position Bogle’s index fund as “un-American.”

For the average retail investor, mutual funds offered a way to achieve both diversification and professional management in a single instrument. The alternative was to manage your own assets, or to rely on a broker’s recommendations, which generally fell into the category of the hot stock of the week. In addition, America was going through a post-WWII business boom that fueled powerful industry giants such as IBM, General Electric, and General Motors—companies that did have something of a patriotic appeal to them. With this backdrop for context, passive index investing drew little fanfare.

Fast-forwarding to today, the amount of money flowing into passive funds is growing so rapidly, they are not only pulling in more money than actively managed funds, they are pulling money out of active funds. There are no consistent figures to indicate how much money is coming out of actively managed accounts with registered advisors to go into passive funds, or how many advisors themselves have now shifted to passive funds for their clients, but there is enough anecdotal evidence to know that both are significant. In the 401(k) world, where assets are substantial, investors don’t always have the option of a privately managed account, or they are unaware that they do have that option and therefore believe they are faced with only a choice of mutual funds. Passive index funds serve the need for a “no-brainer” investment uniquely well, and, in many cases, an index fund is the default fund of choice by plan administrators, who see it as the fund of least risk to themselves as fiduciaries.

What’s more, there is also evidence that the millennial generation has more of a predisposition toward passive investing than preceding generations. This may be because of a heightened sensitivity to fees, mixed with a touch of anti-Wall Street sentiment.

The performance numbers have long favored the passive fund in a side-by-side comparison, particularly when commissions and transactions costs were sky high. But investor behavioral biases and perceptions kept the active management allure alive. Though active mutual funds are steadily losing assets to passive index funds, active management is hardly circling the drain. There is plenty of evidence that active managers use passive funds or ETFs in sophisticated rules-based strategies that focus more on allocation among multiple asset classes (and geographies) and sector timing than pure stock picking. These strategies also can have the ability to ratchet up or down their market exposure depending on current trends, as well as further risk management through hedges or inverse positions.

Additionally, investor behavior is not solely geared to financial performance. People also use their money to express their views: to make statements on social issues, support causes they like, reward ingenuity or innovation, bolster their local economy, and even to approve or disapprove of a CEO’s behavior. Active managers are in a much better position to help investors express their views than any broad index fund.

Behavior isn’t binary, and neither is management

Lastly, the comparison of an index fund to an actively managed mutual fund (let alone a portfolio of active strategies) assumes a binary set of options that simply do not meld with investor behavior, which lies in different places along an ever-widening spectrum defined by the risk posture of the client, the investing environment, the client’s time horizon, and their need for expression, among other variables. Active managers today can offer investors a multiple-asset-class investment strategy that may well use passive components, but which can be centrally driven by where the client needs to be on this spectrum.

ACTIVE MANAGEMENT SPECTRUM

From this perspective, the active versus passive debate may not even be a debate anymore. Instead, the question for investors and their financial advisors is to determine where they best fit on the active management spectrum and what degree of active management is optimal to their needs.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Hilbert Financial Group. These opinions are presented for educational purposes only.

Source: The case for active over passive investing is really about investor behavior

Advisors Prefer Active Management

Several studies assess advisor attitudes around portfolio management and risk mitigation for clients—showing a continued preference for actively managed strategies.

Editor’s note: This article first published in our magazine in October 2015, but it is perhaps even more relevant today. The S&P 500 finished 2017 with a ninth consecutive year of positive total returns (though volatility has returned in 2018), leaving advisors and investors wondering if and when the next bear market will appear. With the Trump administration’s policies generating hope that the economy will continue to improve—and also creating an unprecedented level of uncertainty—it is no time for advisors to decrease their emphasis on risk management for client portfolios.

“Index funds clearly have won the hearts and minds of many investors. Are there any reasons to even consider actively managed funds these days?” So said The Wall Street Journal in an article published on February 8, 2015.

They partially answered this question with the observation that, “Little surprise, then, that last year, people yanked $98.6 billion out of actively managed U.S.-stock mutual funds while putting $71.3 billion more into ‘passive’ ones that merely track an index.”

However, this opening salvo was quite misleading. The Journal article later acknowledged that the support for active management among professional investors and financial advisors was often much stronger than the massive funds flow statistics might suggest.

In addition, it must also be noted that there is a great deal of confusion in the business press when discussing “the active management debate.” The Journal article, and many others, frequently equate “actively managed mutual funds” with the entire universe of “active management.” This is simply not the case, as those mutual funds are usually restricted in their techniques/charter, stock universe, and tracking requirements, while holistic active portfolio management is not. The latter is usually primarily concerned with employing strong risk-management techniques in portfolio strategies while seeking favorable opportunities among a wide range of diversified asset classes.

That distinction noted, the Journal did cite many instances where actively managed funds could have an advantage versus passive funds:

“Many advisors still believe that at certain times, and for certain strategies, actively managed funds are superior to index funds. That is particularly true, they say, if the active fund has a good long-term track record. The lesson here? Historically, active managers have lagged behind benchmarks during long, strong bull markets. But they tend to make up lost ground when markets level off or suffer corrections. 

“‘Active managers have more ways to play defense,’ says Tim Clift, chief investment strategist for Chicago-based Envestnet Inc., a firm that guides advisers on using active and passive funds. ‘They (active managers) don’t have the pedal to the metal when the markets are going up, and they put the brakes on more quickly when markets are going down.’”

In fact, several recent independent research studies have shown that more advisors are (1) moving a greater percentage of their book of business to fee-based services; (2) increasingly utilizing the services of third-party money managers; and (3) supportive of active investment strategies and risk management, despite the lengthy bull market.

TABLE 1: GROWTH OF ADVISOR FEE-BASED REVENUES AND AUM

Source: PriceMetrix, “The State of Retail Wealth Management 2017,” May 2018.

Why is this so?

Undoubtedly, a major reason is that financial advisors wish to deliver on the investment objectives, suitability parameters, and risk appetites of their clients—with a significant percentage of clients approaching or already in retirement. These clients, many burned twice in the 2000s by market meltdowns, are valuing capital preservation and slow and steady portfolio growth over “market-beating” outperformance (and all of its related risk).

Advisors are moving more of their books of business to fee-based services and increasingly utilizing the services of third-party money managers.

Vanguard Investments wished to take a look at a range of investor attitudes, segmented by net worth, during the very bullish equity market in 2013. While they saw that investors had “slowly become less risk-averse with the passing of time from the financial crisis, they remain tilted to the conservative side. Almost half agreed with the strong statement that they will not invest in anything that will result in a loss of principal.”

And, directly related to this, a Natixis “2015 Global Survey of Individual Investors” shows 70% of affluent investors are “looking for new portfolio solutions”—not wanting a repeat of steep portfolio drawdowns.

FIGURE 1: AFFLUENT INVESTORS SEEK NEW PORTFOLIO SOLUTIONS

Natixis presented updated research in 2017 in the study, “2017 Individual Investor Survey Trust.”

Among the study’s many findings, two statements stand out related to risk management and the “active versus passive debate”:

  1. “Understanding risk is the #1 area where most investors want the help of a financial professional. Risk is also the #1 item on the agenda of many financial professionals.”
  2. “In comparing the strengths and weaknesses of active and passive management, investment professionals see clear advantages for active managers in terms of generating risk-adjusted returns (66%). They also give the nod to active for taking advantage of short-term market movements (73%), as well as providing exposure to both non-correlated asset classes (73%) and emerging market opportunities (75%).”

The independent research firm that conducted the Vanguard research, Spectrem Group, updates its “Affluent/Millionaire Investor Confidence Index” monthly. Their tracking finds that while investor confidence among the affluent has improved during the 2009-2018 period, it is still consistently well below levels seen in 2006-2007 and is relatively unstable—prone to shift rapidly based on current market conditions, the political climate, and economic/geopolitical news. The “mood swings” seen among affluent investors are indicative of what many behavioral economists see as the “hangover effect” of the Great Recession.

Given this backdrop of conservative attitudes by many clients toward risk and capital preservation, financial advisors continue to find investment solutions in actively managed portfolio approaches.

Clients are valuing capital preservation and slow and steady portfolio growth over ‘market-beating’ outperformance.

CoreData Research, an independent third-party research provider, conducted another commissioned study of more than 1,000 financial advisors, institutional investors, and professional buyers in the first half of 2015. The survey finds that active management is the preferred broad investment approach for professionals—despite those significant investor flows into passive mutual funds in recent years.

According to the survey, close to 60% of U.S. professional investors surveyed say that actively managed strategies will play a significant role in their portfolios in the future. Fifty-two percent of the sample say they are “highly confident” in active strategies; the combination of “highly confident/confident” attributes average better than 90% for those surveyed. In comparison, only 39% are “highly confident” in passive strategies.

The survey also identifies the major criteria investment professionals are looking for in selecting active managers, with risk-management-related reasons identified as the top-ranking attributes.

FIGURE 2: FINANCIAL ADVISOR AND INSTITUTIONAL ATTITUDES

However, based on this and other data, there clearly is no “one size fits all” approach either for investment professionals or their investor clients. Many find that a combination of active and passive strategies, or a “core and satellite” approach, is a very viable alternative for modern-day portfolio management.

In May 2015, ThinkAdvisor reported on the findings of, yes, yet another study on the topic of active versus passive investment management approaches. The report was based on data from 600 wire-house, regional, independent, and registered investment advisors, plus data from 525 advisors focusing on just liquid alternatives. Howard Schneider, president of Practical Perspectives and co-author of the report, “Major Trends Driving Change in Portfolio Construction,” says, “Most advisors still tilt toward being primarily active or a blend between active and passive.”

The study release notes, “Indeed, more than 80% of the advisors surveyed indicated significant or moderate use of active management strategies. … While many financial advisors are increasingly gravitating to passively managed solutions (for some asset classes and sectors), active management remains a core pillar to how advisors build portfolios.”

What is the bottom line here?

The investor clients of financial advisors and wealth managers have shown an increased risk appetite during the lengthy bull market of 2009-2018. But most investors, as the 2015 Natixis study put it, have remained, “cautious, conflicted, and in need of guidance.”

The 2017 Natixis study adds, “Managing clients and their emotions is no easy task.”

They found that investors continue to be skeptical of the long-running bull market and “confidence may only run skin deep.”

They noted the following in their conclusions:

“In broader sentiment, we see what may be the lingering effects of the turmoil experienced by investors over the past ten years manifested in mixed emotions in how investors view risk, return, and their portfolios:

  • “Despite a record run of low numbers for the VIX, investors are still concerned about the threat of volatility, with most believing it undermines their ability to achieve savings and retirement goals.
  • “Despite an extended bull market globally, investors define risk as losing assets rather than losing out on investment opportunity.
  • “Despite high hopes for investment returns, most say they will take safety over investment performance.”

The good news is that financial advisors have an increasingly complex array of portfolio alternatives, strategic tools, and third-party investment solutions at their disposal. Active management remains a vitally important component of meeting client objectives for a majority of advisors, particularly in addressing the core client concerns of managing risk and preserving capital over the long term.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Hilbert Financial Group. These opinions are presented for educational purposes only.

Source: Advisors prefer active management