The majority of financial advisors are betting on active management over passive to reap rewards this year, according to a PGIM survey, “On the Minds of Advisors,” released today.

They also are optimistic about equities in general after the tumultuous ride experienced in 2020, the survey of 432 advisors showed.

The majority (61%) of advisors feel actively managed investment products are better suited than passive to protect against any market declines that occur this year. Only 13% said passively managed accounts were better to protect against any downturns.

Whether they support active or passive management, 79% of advisors said they are optimistic about equities this year, although their forecasts varied by type of advisor. RIAs were slightly more pessimistic than broker-dealers, with only 64% indicating they had a positive outlook for equities in 2021, versus 83% of broker-dealers in the national, regional, independent and bank channels, according to the survey.

The asset managers said an earnings revival will be driven mainly by improving revenue growth and increased operating leverage. In particular, cyclicals and value stocks are poised to benefit from the end of pandemic restrictions, and vaccinations bringing us back to a sense of normalcy, Ed Campbell, a managing director and portfolio manager at QMA, which is the quantitative equity and multi-asset specialist unit at PGIM, said in a statement.

For fixed income, half of the advisors said investment-grade corporate bonds are an attractive investment opportunity. Municipal and high-yield bonds were rated the second- and third-most attractive fixed income sectors. The advisors said the least attractive sectors were asset-backed securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasurys, according to the survey.

Fixed-income managers said the bond market will be attractive for longer-term time horizons, but over the near term, the market is likely to remain volatile. Because of this, actively managed credit selection will be a differentiating factor between managers, the survey said.