Browse Analysis of Managed and Structured Products

17.2.1 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Managed Products

Understanding the benefits and downsides of managed products can help investors make informed decisions. This guide explores the pros and cons in-depth, offering insights into professional management, economies of scale, diversification, tax benefits, liquidity, and potential drawbacks like lack of transparency, high fees, and volatility.


Managed products can offer various advantages and disadvantages for investors. These products include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), hedge funds, private equity funds, and labor-sponsored venture capital corporations (LSVCCs). This guide will detail the potential benefits and drawbacks of managed products to help investors make informed decisions.

Advantages of Managed Products

Professional Management

Investors benefit from the experience and specialized knowledge of investment management professionals.

Economies of Scale

The asset size of pooled investment funds allows for negotiation of lower fees and transaction costs.

Low-Cost Diversification

Investors with relatively small sums to invest have access to diversification, which they could not otherwise achieve.

Liquidity and Flexibility

Some managed products, such as mutual funds, can be bought and sold at their net asset value (NAV) at any time.

Tax Benefits

Products such as LSVCCs can provide tax benefits, including provincial and federal tax credits.

Low-Cost Investment Options

Products such as ETFs have some of the lowest management costs in the fund universe.

Disadvantages of Managed Products

Lack of Transparency

Due to their largely unregulated and competitive nature, products such as hedge funds rarely disclose their portfolio holdings on a timely basis.

Liquidity Constraints

Some managed products prevent investors from accessing their funds until a specified time or only when certain conditions are met.

High Fees

Active fixed-income and foreign equity mutual funds can charge 2% to 5% in management fees. Additionally, some private equity funds and hedge funds typically charge a 20% performance fee.

Volatility of Returns

Some mutual funds and hedge funds can be subject to market instability, as well as volatility associated with their underlying securities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are managed products?

Managed products are investment funds where professional managers make decisions about how to invest the fund’s money. Examples include mutual funds, ETFs, and hedge funds.

Why should I consider managed products?

Managed products offer professional management, diversification, lower fees due to economies of scale, and in some cases, tax benefits and liquidity.

Are there any downsides to managed products?

Yes, managed products can have disadvantages such as lack of transparency, liquidity constraints, high fees, and volatility of returns.

What factors should I consider when choosing a managed product?

Investors should consider factors such as the product’s fee structure, manager’s experience, level of transparency, liquidity terms, and historical performance.


  • Net Asset Value (NAV): The value per share of a mutual fund or ETF, calculated by dividing the total value of the fundโ€™s asset by the number of shares outstanding.
  • Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF): An investment fund traded on stock exchanges, much like stocks. An ETF holds assets such as stocks, commodities, or bonds.
  • Hedge Fund: A pooled investment fund that employs various strategies to earn active returns for its investors. Hedge funds may be aggressively managed or utilize derivatives.
  • Private Equity Fund: A collective investment scheme used for making investments in various equity (and to a lesser extent debt) securities according to one of the investment strategies associated with private equity.
  • Labor-Sponsored Venture Capital Corporation (LSVCC): Canadian venture capital funds designed to promote investments in small to medium-sized businesses.

Key Takeaways

  • Managed products offer professional management, economies of scale, diversification, and liquidity.
  • Disadvantages include potential lack of transparency, high fees, and possible volatility.
  • Understanding both the pros and cons of managed products can help investors make more informed decisions.


Diversification and Risk Reduction

    graph LR
	A[Investment] --> B[Stocks]
	A --> C[Bonds]
	A --> D[Real Estate]
	A --> E[Commodities]
	B --> F[Domestic Stocks]
	B --> G[Foreign Stocks]
	C --> H[Corporate Bonds]
	C --> I[Government Bonds]
	D --> J[Residential Real Estate]
	D --> K[Commercial Real Estate]
	E --> L[Gold]
	E --> M[Oil]

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## Which of the following is an advantage of managed products? - [ ] Lack of transparency - [x] Professional management - [ ] High fees - [ ] Volatility of returns > **Explanation:** Managed products benefit from the expertise of investment management professionals. ## Which of these is an advantage related to the cost of investing in managed products? - [ ] High performance fees - [ ] Lack of access to funds - [x] Economies of scale - [ ] Volatility of returns > **Explanation:** The large asset size of pooled investment funds allows for negotiation of lower fees and transaction costs. ## How do managed products provide low-cost diversification? - [ ] By charging high management fees - [ ] Through limited access to funds - [ ] By benefiting from performance fees - [x] By allowing investors with small sums to access diversified portfolios > **Explanation:** Managed products allow investors with relatively small investments to achieve diversification. ## Which of the following is a liquidity advantage of some managed products? - [ ] Lack of portfolio transparency - [ ] High fees - [x] The ability to buy and sell at net asset value at any time - [ ] Subject to market volatility > **Explanation:** Certain managed products, like mutual funds, provide liquidity by allowing transactions at net asset value. ## Which tax benefit can certain managed products provide? - [x] Provincial and federal tax credits - [ ] High transaction fees - [ ] Delayed access to funds - [ ] Unregulated portfolio holdings > **Explanation:** Products such as Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Corporations (LSVCCs) offer tax credits. ## What is a major disadvantage of some managed products in terms of transparency? - [ ] Experience of investment management professionals - [ ] Lower fees due to economies of scale - [ ] Access to tax benefits - [x] Rarely disclose portfolio holdings on a timely basis > **Explanation:** Hedge funds often fail to timely disclose their portfolio due to the largely unregulated and competitive nature of their business. ## How can liquidity be a constraint in some managed products? - [ ] They always allow for immediate access to funds - [ ] Fees are explicitly transparent - [ ] They provide low management costs - [x] Investors can be prevented from accessing their funds until a specified time > **Explanation:** Some managed products restrict access to funds based on time or certain conditions. ## Why might high fees be a disadvantage of certain managed products? - [ ] They offer immediate liquidity - [x] Active fixed-income and foreign equity mutual funds can charge 2% to 5% in management fees - [ ] They lack professional management - [ ] They always remain stable > **Explanation:** High management and performance fees reduce net returns for investors. ## What issue can arise with the returns of some mutual funds and hedge funds? - [ ] Transparency and low fees - [ ] Guaranteed stability - [ ] Constant access to funds - [x] Market instability and volatility associated with underlying securities > **Explanation:** Returns on these funds can fluctuate due to market conditions and the inherent volatility of their investments. ## What is a low-cost investment option in the managed products universe? - [ ] Hedge funds - [ ] Private equity funds - [x] Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) - [ ] Actively managed mutual funds > **Explanation:** Exchange-traded funds generally have lower management costs compared to other managed products.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2024