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Debating Active vs. Passive Misses the Point

A hot debate among investors today is whether index mutual funds are superior to actively managed funds. However, in many ways this debate misses the point in terms of what determines investor success.

A pioneering academic study by Gary Brinson in 1986 demonstrated that asset allocation is by far the most important factor influencing a portfolios returns. Put another way, having the right overall mix of stocks and bonds is far more important than owning the right individual securities. 1

However, even the optimal asset allocation won’t ensure success if investors don’t have the discipline to stick with it through market ups and downs.

Accordingly, we believe investor discipline is the essential ingredient to success. And while the debate over index funds versus active management will surely continue, it is of little consequence to investors who don’t stick with their financial plan and proper asset allocation and diversification.


Source: Hefren-Tillotson, Morningstar, Bloomberg; as of 3/31/2017 ; Past performance does not predict future results.

1 http://www.cfapubs.org/doi/abs/10.2469/faj.v51.n1.1869

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE SECURITIES MENTIONED IN THIS REPORT IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST – This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the Firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned. Hefren-Tillotson, Inc. and/or its officers and employees may from time to time acquire, hold, or sell a position in the securities mentioned herein. Upon request, Hefren-Tillotson will be pleased to disclose specific information on such positions or transactions. Consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the fund before investing. The fund prospectus and, if available, summary prospectus contain this and other information about the fund. The prospectus and, if available, summary prospectus information may be obtained through your Hefren-Tillotson financial advisor. The prospectus and, if available, the summary prospectus should be read carefully before investing. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate. An investors shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. PAST PERFORMANCE DOES NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE RESULTS

Investment Advisory Team

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