Investors are looking for more flexibility than being locked into investment style boxes that fall in and out of favor. Merely beating a benchmark but still being in the red by double-digits doesn’t do investors any good.

That’s why three mutual fund companies, Putnam, Dreyfus and Natixis, recently introduced absolute-return funds that aim to deliver positive returns, regardless of the market’s overall movement, The New York Times reports.

However, some wonder whether even professional money managers can successfully time the market, especially when so many studies show that actively managed funds trail index funds. As Boston College Finance Professor Alan J. Marcus put it, “My gut feel is that there aren’t that many Warren Buffets around.”

Some recommend less-risky balanced funds and a well-diversified portfolio of low-cost funds as a better alternative.

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