People who are not "interested in investment" should stick to passive options, Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier has said in relation to investors' lack of patience with manager underperformance.
"With passive funds, you have no fund manager risk, you only have market risk," Dampier (pictured) explained.
Most investors lacked patience which was required when using an active manager, he suggested.
"Picking active funds is actually quite difficult," said Dampier. "If you're not prepared to spend the time doing it, you are actually better in passive."
The ability to trade unit trusts at a similar pace to shares, he said, was one factor that had helped facilitate client impatience.
"Now you can pretty much trade unit trusts as you can shares so what I find is people just grab momentum," said Dampier. "As soon as something goes off the boil - this is a generalisation - but people say I'm moving out of that and I'll buy this."
The cost of continuously trading unit trusts and OEICs has the effect of cancelling out fund performance, he added, so those wishing to manage investments this way should do so using cheaper passive instruments.
According to Investment Association (IA) data, the average holding period for a fund had fallen by two-fifths (40%) in the last 10 years.
"If every fund in your portfolio is performing well then you have got to be doing something wrong," Dampier pointed out. "That's just having a portfolio that's taking you in one direction."
Heavy investment in technology in 2000, he said, was the best example of such momentum.
Investors were better off picking a good fund manager and sticking with them, Dampier advised.
He used the example of Neil Woodford, whose Equity Income fund was kicked out of IA's UK Equity Income sector last month for failing to meet the trade body's yield requirements.
"I know he's having a particularly bad patch but I'm prepared to give him a bit more time," Dampier said.
"All active managers, if they're any good, are going to have a bad spell. It can last three months, a year but it can easily last three to four years," he argued. "The market can move away from what you're doing."
At the same time, he added: "You want different fund managers who do different things at different points in time. That's the basis of having a proper portfolio."
Hargreaves Lansdown recently launched a simplified service aimed at first-time investors, called Simply Invest.
Engagement and influence
Win free places at the awards
Our weekly heads-up for advisers
Beware ‘investor behaviour penalty’
Develop ‘soft skills’