Friday, 02 February 2024 07:32

Direct Indexing’s Value in Volatile Markets

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Financial markets have been quite strong over the last few months on the prospects of an economy that continues to defy skeptics and evade a recession, falling inflation, and a dovish Fed. But there are some signs that the market’s ascent is being interrupted by a bout of volatility due to some high-profile earnings misses, a more hawkish than expected FOMC, and flagging momentum in the labor market. Given the uncertainty around the Fed, an upcoming election, and the importance of economic data in the coming months, this volatility is likely to persist.

This volatility is uncomfortable for investors. However, for direct indexing investors, there is a silver lining as volatility leads to opportunities to harvest tax losses. Direct indexing entails reconstructing an index within an account by owning the actual holdings rather than a fund. 

This approach combines the benefits of passive investing - low costs, diversification, and proven performance - with the ability to harvest tax losses that is possible with individual stocks but not by investing in an ETF or mutual fund. Direct indexing platforms will automatically scan portfolios on a regular basis for tax loss harvesting opportunities. These positions are then replaced with positions with similar factor scores to ensure that the index continues to be tracked.


Finsum: There are some signs that the market rally is ending and that the markets could be entering a period of volatility. One advantage of direct indexing is that it is able to harvest tax losses during this period. 


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