Decoding Active Management

Stock picking

Active investment fund managers conduct research and use their knowledge and understanding to find individual companies or stocks they believe will help them generate long-term investment returns for their clients. Of course, it is not as simple as that in practice.
It involves meeting companies, conducting research, and gaining a thorough understanding of a company’s business model, finances, competitive pressures and the drivers of corporate profits. Face-to-face meetings also provide an opportunity to question management teams on their future plans and strategies. Combining this analysis with thematic insights into markets helps active managers to pick stocks and build portfolios that can deliver consistent, long-term outperformance.

A good stock picker will also ensure that they do not possess too many of the same types of companies in their overall portfolio, such as too many banks, too many smaller companies, or too many companies based in one country. This is known as diversification.

A strong analogy is that good diversification is not just like choosing a variety of different sweets from a sweet shop; it’s about visiting lots of different sweet shops and selecting sweets from all their shelves too. The more sweets from the more sweet shops, the better diversified one’s portfolio is.

At Columbia Threadneedle Investments, our approach to stock picking is underpinned by a culture that is dynamic and interactive – for a very good reason. We invest in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, so the ability to exchange and debate investment insights in a genuinely collaborative environment enriches our teams’ individual investment processes, and results in better informed investment decisions for our clients.

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Millions of people around the world rely on Columbia Threadneedle Investments to manage their money. We look after investments for individual investors, financial advisers and wealth managers, as well as insurance firms, pension funds and other institutions.

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