Passive investment options continue to grow in popularity and now represent approximately 40% of total equity fund assets1. They are efficient at providing broad exposure to a number of asset classes at a low cost. Active investing provides the potential for higher returns, but at the risk of underperformance, particularly during extended bull markets. Active management benefits from risk oversight and may provide downside protection relative to market benchmarks. We expect the performance of active and passive managers to be complementary over a full market cycle. Retirement plan sponsors that offer a diversified menu of active and passive managers to participants may provide smoother long term returns, as well as gain exposures to asset classes that are otherwise unavailable passively.
The objective of a participant-directed menu is to achieve the best
possible investment outcomes for plan participants, given their time
horizons and risk tolerance. As a consultant to both qualified and
non-qualified defined contribution plans, Newport Group’s fiduciary
consulting team has developed what we consider a “best-in-class”
menu design framework that can serve as a starting point for plan
Stable value strategies are investment options that primarily seek to preserve capital and whose return is based on a pre-determined crediting rate. We have developed this primer to expand the dialogue and provide new investment committee members with a strong foundation from which to select and monitor stable value strategies.