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Why choosing between the active & passive investment strategies

Choosing between an active or passive investment strategy is an important debate within the investor community.

In terms of active funds management, it is to take full advantage of short-term price fluctuations and expect a big return. It requires much deeper analysis, the skill and the ability to understand when to select a specific bond, stock or any instrument, but it gives you more flexibility. An active investment requires confidence that anyone investing the portfolio will know exactly the appropriate time to buy or sell. An active fund is great when the analyst is right and brings high returns but terrible when the advice is wrong. The risk is high and unknown. Another thing, the fees and costs of investing in active funds are more expensive than passive funds and can kill returns.

Different analysis tends to show the passive investments can offer to the investors lower fees than active fund management. It shows greater transparency and the risk is greatly diminished, for example a long-term investor will not have to wake up at the opening bell every day and his stress level will remain at a minimum. Another important aspect of the long-term investing is that anyone can do it and a majority of investors will get a better return just in investing in passive funds.

Passive Management Key Feature Active Management
Generally lower than active management Investment Management Fees Generally higher than passive management
Generally tax efficient Tax Efeciency Depends on the investment manager
No Potential for Above-Market Returns Yes
Yes, after incorporating fees Potential for Below-Market Returns Yes
No Potential for Down-Market Protection Yes
Seeks to replicate the performance of the benchmark Decision-Making Process Seeks to capitalize on market conditions

Active Management

Passive Management

For illustrative only, and is not representative of all active or passive managers
Source: "The Relentless Rules of Humble Arithmetic" by John Bogle

Active Is on the Ropes Assets in active strategies are plummeting, while

To really understand the topic, it is fundamental to adopt another subject which literally changes the behaviors of traders, such as the influence of the 2008 crisis on the popularity of passive investment.

As a result of the financial 2008 crisis, there is a renewed interest in an essential dimension of financial activities and we can see it! The investors have started to trust and invest significantly more in the passive and long-term investments. The popularity of ETFs and the emergence of Robo-Advisors are totally involved in this renewal.

This subject tends to show that, after the crisis, retail investors and passive investment have rose significantly this taking into account the lack of knowledge and experience of some retail clients. Therefore, Robo-Advisors have a comparative advantage over traditional financial advice, which must generate sufficient outperformance to justify its cost. Thus, even if its use seems to be primarily motivated by technical reasons, the passive funds management adopted by Robo-Advisors constitutes an innovation in the model of passive investments funds.

The ETFs take a passive investment approach. Therefore, the expenses are considerably less to run. ETFs are diversified and decrease the risk of single-security price changes. Thanks to their low cost and efficiency combined the Robo-Advisors, they are really the keys and the will of such investment instruments.

FORECAST Global Assets Under Management by

Smart Beta Boom

U.S. ETF assets hit record $639 billion

This topic finally and undoubtedly shows us the major reasons for the growing and rapid popularity of passive and long-term investment strategies.

Popularity of Robo-Advisors

Understand how Robo-Advisor works

The essential function of Robo-Advisor is to provide financial advice that could generate returns to the client. Robo-Advisor provides automated or semi-automated management that allows the investment fund in specific assets by an ergonomic and interactive customer experience.

The relationship between the client and the Robo-Advisor usually begins with a questionnaire. This procedure helps to understand the individual's personal situation, target, and attitude to risk, knowledge, experience and financial status. Therefore, the collection of this information allows RoboAdvisor to categorize and classify the client, in order to determine an acceptable risk and target.

Based on the financial market and the established risk profile, Robo-Advisors use an algorithm that will generate an automatic selection of assets. The recommendations provided by Robo-Advisor to individual investors will facilitate the creation of the portfolio. Then, Robo-Advisor will focus on the risk-adjusted portfolio returns.

CHART 1: Why early adopters choose robo-advise

The advantages of Robo-Advisors

Due to their efficiency and their ability to reduce investment costs, they have become an efficient solution for management funds strategies. They allow all types of investors, including the most inexperienced and modest ones, to benefit from a solution that is both practical and pleasant.

Investing becomes more attractive and efficient. The algorithmic approach of Robo-Advisors allows them to generate a result adapted to the needs and profile of the investor.

The arrival of Robo-Advisor technology on the market makes it possible to lower the cost of wealth management and thus, to democratize this practice to a broad spectrum of the public. Now, retail investors can also benefit from the services offered by Robo-Advisor.

Taking into account the above facts, Robo-Advisor may constitute a key solution for retail clients.

Estimated U.S. robo-advisors assets under management

In trilions of dolars

Is Robo-Advisor a breakthrough?

The passive fund management strategies combined with automation have a significant value function in regard to regulation: the elimination of conflicts of interest that may arise between financial advisors and their clients. The accurate progress should come from the synthesis between human and robot that could combine intuition and effective technical solutions.

Robo-Advisors offer financial management advisors the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of their recommendations, by automating some of their services, to focus on the essentials: customer relationship.

There is some interest in working together with human and robot. The advisor has a cognitive understanding of the complexity of the investment while the robot will be more efficient in building a strategic portfolio.

This complementarity seems to be the future of asset management.