What is active management?

Many investors are passive, which means they don’t trade frequently and try to match the performance of an index. Active management is the polar opposite of this strategy. In this article, we will explore what active management is and whether it is a worthwhile investment strategy for you.

Active management - what is it?

Active management is a type of investing where the investor attempts to achieve a higher return than what would be considered normal for the market. This is done by buying and selling stocks more frequently than the average investor, and by carefully analyzing individual companies before making investment decisions. Active management can be contrasted with passive investing, where the investor simply buys and holds a portfolio of stocks, and lets the market dictate their return.

Pros and cons of active management

There are pros and cons to both approaches. Active management can provide investors with the potential for higher returns, but it also comes with higher fees and the risk of underperforming the market. Passive management is generally less expensive and can provide investors with more predictable results, but it also comes with the risk of missing out on potential market gains.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to pursue active or passive management depends on an investor's individual goals and preferences.

Different types of active management strategies

  • There are many different active management strategies, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Some common active management strategies include −

  • Selecting stocks based on fundamental analysis − This involves analyzing a company's financial statements and other factors to determine if it is undervalued by the market.

  • Selecting stocks based on technical analysis − This involves looking at charts and other data to identify patterns that may indicate future price movements.

  • Timing investments based on market conditions − This involves making decisions about when to buy and sell based on factors like the overall direction of the market, economic indicators, and political events.

  • Constructing portfolios with specific risk/return objectives − This involves creating a mix of investments that are expected to perform differently in different market conditions, in order to achieve a specific goal such as minimizing risk or maximizing return.

Each of these active management strategies has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to carefully consider which one is right for you before making any decisions.

Why index funds are a popular alternative to actively managed funds

Index funds are a popular alternative to actively managed funds for a number of reasons. First, index funds offer diversification across a wide range of investments, which can help to mitigate risk. Second, index funds tend to have lower fees than actively managed funds, which can save investors money over time. Finally, index funds are often simpler to understand and manage than actively managed funds, making them a good choice for investors who are looking for a straightforward investment option.


Active managers believe they can beat the market by doing research and making informed decisions about which investments will perform well. While active management has its benefits, it also comes with some risks. The most important thing for investors to understand is that there is no guarantee that an actively−managed fund will outperform the market.