Identifying that shrinking minority in advance—the future elite among managers who beat their bogies over the long run—is the real challenge for investors who choose to go down the active route.
But it doesn’t have to be an “either/or” decision. There’s room for both active and passive investments. Ultimately, for investors, it’s a matter of preference. Some might prefer the predictability (relative to market benchmarks) of passive funds. Others have the appetite for potential outperformance and the risk tolerance to accept potential underperformance. Still others might hedge with both.
For those who want active management, whether wholeheartedly or partially, the outlook for active is supported by where we are in the economic cycle. As the economy slows and different sectors and issuers diverge in navigating the contraction, some disciplined active managers will successfully separate the winners from the losers and dynamically adapt to new information and new conditions.
Although outperformance is never guaranteed, investors who use a disciplined manager selection process, coupled with low costs, increase the potential for positive and consistent alpha over the long term. Investors should have the patience to let these factors play out, not just in 2023 but over the next decade.