Really simply post this morning taken directly from Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture who wrote it so eloquently that I dare not try to tinker with it.
This morning, we are going to briefly look at what may very well be the most common mistake investors make: Being active investors.
Passive vs Active Management
Active fund management – the attempt by an investor or manager to try to outperform their benchmarks through superior stock picking and/or market timing – is exceedingly difficult. It has been shown (repeatedly) that every year, 80% of active managers under-perform their benchmarks.
Those are not particularly attractive odds.
Worse, most active managers typically run higher-fee funds. (all that activity costs money!). That combination — High Fees + Under-performance — are not the ingredients of a winning long-term strategy. This is why for the vast majority of investors, passive index investing is a superior approach.
-Remove the emotional component
-Take advantage of (instead of working against) mean reversion
-Garner the lowest possible fees
-Eliminate all of the friction caused by overtrading
-Keep capital gains taxes as low as possible
-Get good results over the entire long cycle
-Avoids typical cognitive errors
-Stop chasing hot managers and funds
Consider if your portfolio won’t be better served replacing some or all of your active fund managers with passive indices.
It should be noted that Barry is an active investor himself, but much like Warren Buffet he to extols the virtues of a majority passive approach for the average investor.