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Active investing poised to be on the rise in 2023



investing poised to be on the rise in 2023

As 2022 nears a wrap, a trend is emerging that’s expected to gain traction next year — actively managed investment strategies — along with a custom strategy for people who like the idea of investing in a basket of companies, but want more control of what they invest in .

Assets in direct indexing are expected to climb to $825 billion by 2026, from roughly $462 billion now, according to Cerulli Associates, a global research and consulting firm, based in Boston, Mass. That tops growth forecasts for exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and separately managed accounts.

Here’s what’s behind the developing shift: Many analysts foresee loads of volatility for stocks in 2023, particularly early in the year, and an overall flat return scenario for the entire year, given the combo of still-high inflation, Fed rate hikes, and a potential recession. And some folks want more control.

“It’s part of a much broader trend towards personalized portfolios,” Tom O’Shea, director at Cerulli, told Yahoo Money.

Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. United States (Getty Creative)

Direct-indexing enters the mainstream

Direct indexing lets investors cherry-pick which stocks to buy in a benchmark index instead of owning a fund that tracks a specific gauge like the S&P 500.

A hands-on approach allows for you to adjust for changing market conditions in a turn-on-the-dime manner, something that is not in the cards for investors in passively managed retirement portfolios that mimic the ups and downs of whichever index is being tracked.

“Direct indexing allows investors to buy the individual stocks in an index directly as opposed to owning a predetermined selection of stocks through a fund,” Marguerita Cheng, a Certified Financial Planner and CEO at Blue Ocean Global Wealth, in Gaithersburg, Md., told Yahoo Money. “Investors can customize their holdings to align with their risk tolerance and investment preferences.”

“But there are some cons,” Cheng added. “Direct indexing, for example, can be more expensive than passive investing and may cause clients to lose focus of their long-term financial goals and encourage more frequent trading.”

Businessman checking stock market data. Businessman checking stock market data.
(Photo credit: Getty Creative)

Plain vanilla index funds vs DIY

Investing in Steady Eddie index funds — balanced across stocks, such as the S&P 500 index, and fixed-income bond funds put on auto-pilot for months on end — has been standard advice for many individuals, particularly those socking away retirement funds.

The overarching idea is that it’s simpler and less expensive to buy an entire index that is computer-generated than it is to try to select individual stocks to buy and sell. And, generally speaking, you have a better chance of shaking off the slumps in the stock market if you simply stay the course. Moreover, trying to find the perfect time to invest is tricky and almost always a huge mistake.

For scores of retirement savers, however, that passive strategy has been hard to stomach this year as markets have been pummelled. With inflation not yet under control and the overall stock market still teetering–the S&P 500 index has fallen around 19% so far this year, it’s hard to fight back the urge to step in and tweak your accounts, especially if you’re nearing retirement.

“Firms that cater to do-it-yourself investors like Schwab, Vanguard, and Fidelity are rolling out these personalized products and what we’re seeing is there’s a lot of investors who like to own individual securities for a variety of reasons,” O’Shea said.

“The tax benefits are one reason these have appeal,” he said. “They’re not necessarily buying into a mutual fund that has embedded capital gains, for example. They’ll be able to customize their portfolio according to their taxes. And then other characteristics that they might find important. It could be risk, maybe a low volatility portfolio. It could also be ESG, which is increasingly becoming important, particularly to young people.”

A custom solution

This year, Fidelity, for example, launched customized index funds for do-it-yourself brokerage customers. To create a custom index, you pick a group of stocks that you want to invest in based on whatever theme you choose — say, clean energy stocks — then determine the percentage weighting of each investment and invest all those stocks in a single basket.

After a free trial, the service costs $4.99 per month. The custom baskets can be used in non-retirement brokerage accounts, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as well as Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and rollover IRAs. You can invest in up to 50 stocks and create as many baskets as you want.

New York Stock Exchange, Wall street, Manhattan, New York, USANew York Stock Exchange, Wall street, Manhattan, New York, USA
New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, Manhattan, New York, USA (Photo credit: Getty Creative)

“We knew investors wanted more than just basket trading; they want a simplified way to monitor and trade their customized portfolios with just one click, and trade securities using Fidelity’s real-time fractional shares engine,” Josh Krugman, senior vice president of brokerage at Fidelity, told Yahoo Money. “This new ability to invest in and customize portfolios built from Fidelity’s thematic models puts direct indexing capabilities into the hands of DIY retail investors.”

Yet, recent Cerulli surveys show that only 14% of financial advisors are aware of, and recommend, direct indexing solutions to clients. For now, these hands-on offerings are still a small slice of the overall mutual fund sandbox.

“For tax-deferred or tax-free retirement accounts, more control over taxes may not be as compelling as rebalancing can occur without incurring tax consequences,” Cheng said. “For taxable accounts, flexibility and control with regards to taxes and security selection can be beneficial depending on the client’s personal and financial circumstances.”

The case for a blended strategy

Passive investing, however, isn’t fading away, by any measure.

In 2021, passively managed index funds for the first time accounted for a greater share of the U.S. stock market than actively managed funds’ ownership, according to the Investment Company Institute’s 2022 Factbook. Passive funds accounted for 16% of the U.S. stock market at the end of 2021, compared with 14% held by active funds. A decade ago, active funds held 20% and passive ones, 8%.

“I don’t buy this idea of the end of passive investing for a minute,” Daniel Wiener, chairman of Adviser Investments, in Newton, Mass., told Yahoo Money. “I have not heard or read of a single person of any substance saying that the end of passive investing is nigh.”

Importantly, fees are low for pre-set index baskets of stocks and bonds.

In 2021, the average expense ratio of actively managed equity mutual funds was 0.68%, compared with average index equity mutual fund expense ratio of 0.06%, according to a report by the Investment Company Institute. Active management ETFs have an average expense ratio of 0.69%.

The passive approach of set and forget makes perfect sense, particularly if you’re investing for the long haul and aren’t hardwired to be a stock jockey. The batting averages also support passive investing.

Over the past 15 years, more than 70% of actively managed funds failed to outperform their comparison index in 38 of 39 categories, according to the S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPIVA) mid-year 2022 survey on the performance of active mutual fund managers.

Moreover, the S&P 500 has increased on average by 29% in the three years following a 20% plus decline dating back to 1950, according to data analysis by Truist chief market strategist Keith Lerner.

“It doesn’t hold water – if expectations are that returns will be lower in the years ahead then both passive and active funds with low expense ratios should be the preferred investment vehicles,” Wiener said. “So, T. Rowe Price, Vanguard, and Fidelity funds with low operating expenses, as well as low expense ratio ETFs, will remain the preferred investments.”

Kerry is a Senior Reporter and Columnist at Yahoo Money. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhannon


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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto



For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 2, 2023 – Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Alphabet GOOGL, Tesla TSLA, Shopify SHOP, Amazon AMZN and Palo Alto Networks PANW.

Which of These Stocks Has Been the Best Buy, Post-Split?

Stock splits have been a regular occurrence in the market over the last several years, with many companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares and knock down barriers for potential investors.

Of course, it’s important to remember that a split doesn’t directly impact a company’s financial standing or performance.

In 2022, several companies performed splits, including Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto Networks. Below is a chart illustrating the performance of all five stocks over the last year, with the S&P 500 blended in as a benchmark.


As we can see, PANW shares have been the best performers over the last year, the only to outperform the general market.

However, which has turned in a better performance post-split? Let’s take a closer look.


We’re all familiar with Tesla, which has revolutionized the EV (electric vehicle) industry. It’s been one of the best-performing stocks over the last decade, quickly becoming a favorite among investors.

Earlier in June of 2022, the mega-popular EV manufacturer announced that its board approved a three-for-one stock split; shares began trading on a split-adjusted basis on August 25th, 2022.

Since the split, Tesla shares have lost roughly 40% in value, widely underperforming relative to the S&P 500.

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers, and government entities worldwide.

PANW’s three-for-one stock split in mid-September seemingly flew under the radar. The company’s shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on September 14th, 2022.

Following the split, PANW shares have struggled to gain traction, down roughly 15% compared to the S&P 500’s 3.3% gain.


Shopify provides a multi-tenant, cloud-based, multi-channel e-commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

SHOP shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 29th, 2022; the company performed a 10-for-1 split.

Impressively, Shopify shares have soared for a 50% gain since the split, crushing the general market’s performance.


Alphabet has evolved from primarily being a search engine into a company with operations in cloud computing, ad-based video and music streaming, autonomous vehicles, and more.

Last February, the tech titan announced a 20-for-1 split, and investors cheered on the news – GOOGL shares climbed 7% the day following the announcement. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on July 18th, 2022.

Alphabet shares have sailed through challenging waters since the split, down 10% and lagging behind the S&P 500.


Amazon has evolved into an e-commerce giant with global operations. The company also enjoys a dominant position within the cloud computing space with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) operations.

AMZN’s 20-for-1 split was a bit of a surprise, as it was the company’s first split since 1999. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 6th, 2022.

Following the split, Amazon shares have lost roughly 18% in value, well off the general market’s performance.

Bottom Line

Stock splits are typically exciting announcements that investors can receive, with companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares.

Interestingly enough, only Shopify shares reside in the green post-split of the five listed.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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$13 million investment in Campbellford Memorial Hospital



The Campbellford Memorial Hospital will be receiving a $13 million investment from the Ontario Government to address infrastructure concerns.

The announcement was made at the hospital by Northumberland—Peterborough South MPP David Piccini.

The $13 million is broken down as follows:

  • $9,639,900 will be going to CMH as one-time capital funding to address the HVAC and generator
  • $1,874,929 for reimbursement of CMH’s COVID-19-related capital expenses
  • $771,797 in COVID-19 incremental operating funding
  • up to $600,000 in one-time funding to support the hospital’s in-year financial and operating pressures
  • $163,600 in pandemic prevention and containment funding
  • $81,132 through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund
  • $46,884 in health human resources funding.

Interim President and CEO Eric Hanna welcomed the news, saying much needs to be done about the HVAC and generator.


At the announcement, Hanna spoke of the issues with the generator.

“I’ve got the wee little generator up at the lake and then I’m thinking well, everything should be going well at the hospital,” Hanna told the audience in attendance.

“You get a call from the person in charge who says, ‘Guess what Eric? Generator didn’t start. Oh, so what does that mean? There’s no power in the hospital.’  That’s happened a couple of times in the past year and the generator is over 30 years old.”

Hanna says the solution was not as easy as replacing the generator.

“You can go buy the generator and that may be about a million dollars. But then when we found out afterwards, we came to hook up the new generator to the electrical distribution system and said it won’t work with that because your electrical distribution system is 1956. You can’t plug this generator into that. So now we’re putting close to $5 million into a whole electrical distribution system so the generator will work. It’s part of that ongoing thing and that’s why these costs continue to go up.”

The HVAC system was also something addressed by Hanna.

“It’s a contract close to $7 million to replace that. This wing, for example. There’s no fresh air in this wing. It hasn’t worked in here for 15 years. So now this is administrative areas and the concern was that in some of the patient carriers, it wasn’t working either.  So – having those discussions with David (Piccini) and saying what we have to do to correct this.”


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Chile’s Enap Set to Slash Debt Burden That Weighed on Investment



(Bloomberg) — Enap, Chile’s state oil and gas company, plans to use near-record earnings to slash its debt burden, while increasing investment in its refineries and in exploration and production.

The company aims to reduce its debt load to about $3 billion “medium term” from the current $4.3 billion, Chief Executive Officer Julio Friedmann said in an interview. Plans include a bond sale in the first half of this year to refinance some securities.

The improved financial position — with 2022 profit surging to $575 million — comes after Enap’s oil and gas operations in Egypt, Ecuador and Argentina got a boost from high crude prices, while healthy international refining margins benefited plants in Chile. Those trends are expected to extend into this year and next, enabling the company to pre-pay some short-term obligations. About half of the current debt burden matures in the next three years.

“We are going to issue bonds,” the MIT-trained executive said Wednesday from the Aconcagua refinery in central Chile. “We are closely evaluating the local and international markets.”


At the same time, Friedmann, who took the reins at Enap in November, plans to increase capital expenditure to about $700 million this year from $550 million last year.

The increase comes after underinvestment in the past few years because of Covid restrictions and the heavy debt load. Spending will focus on making treatment processes cleaner and upgrading infrastructure, as well as a more aggressive approach to increasing gas reserves in the far south of the country, he said.

Gas Markets

Enap plans to expand in both liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas markets in Chile, focusing on the wholesale business and eventually selling directly to large-scale consumers such as mines. Organizational changes to enable the expansion will be announced soon. There are no plans to enter the final distribution business, Friedmann said. The company wants to supply more gas to southern cities as a way of replacing dirtier fuels such as wood and diesel.

Enap and its partners are also preparing pipelines and a refinery near Concepcion to start receiving crude from Argentina’s Neuquen basin sometime this year in an arrangement that could supply as much as 30% of its needs.

While there’s plenty of potential do collaborate more with energy-rich Argentina, particularly in the Magallanes area, that would require greater long-term visibility on supplies from the neighboring country, Friedmann said.

He sees a role for Enap in the development of green hydrogen in Chile. It’s in talks with three companies to enable its facilities in Magallanes to be used to receive all the wind turbines, electrolyzers and other equipment that will be needed to make the clean fuel. Enap is also evaluating its own small pilot plants and will consider whether to take up options to enter other green hydrogen projects as an equity partner.

While the company will maintain its focus on meeting rising demand for traditional fuels, it anticipates new regulation that will require lower emissions. It’s also looking closely at clean-fuel options for aviation, Friedmann said.

(Adds clean fuel plans in last paragraph. I previous version corrected spelling of CEO’s surname.)


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