In an article for ETFTrends, James Comtois discusses 3 benefits of direct indexing as laid out by Vanguard. The asset manager sees the trend continuing to grow in popularity in the coming years and is investing heavily to capture market share in the space.
Direct indexing combines the benefits of index investing such as low costs and diversification while allowing for greater personalization. Rather than gaining exposure through an ETF or mutual fund, investors own the individual stocks in the index. This allows for more flexibility, transparency, and potential tax savings.
In terms of returns, tax savings is the biggest benefit. According to research, it can add between 20 and 120 basis points annually. Losing positions can be sold to offset gains from profitable positions. Then, these positions can be replaced with other stocks that have similar factor scores to continue tracking the underlying index.
Direct indexing allows for customization to reflect an individual’s circumstances and values. This could mean ESG investing or reducing exposure to a particular industry because of outside holdings. Finally, direct indexing leads to increased transparency as the holdings are always visible while avodiing complications of conentrated positions.
Finsum: Direct indexing has 3 benefits for advisors and clients: tax savings, increased customization, and greater transparency.