“Reducing downside risk helps individuals weather bouts of volatility while staying invested, and it also reduces the subsequent gain required to catch up after a loss,” the Fidelity strategists said.

Additionally, investors would not have to go through the hassle of meticulously vetting each individual company stock to select the best picks.

“Sector investing still gives investors control of their portfolio construction, but without the challenge of trying to identify, analyze, and manage multiple individual stocks,” Fidelity said.

SEE MORE: Passive ETFs Beating Active Stock Pickers

If professional stock pickers are having trouble beating the broad equities market, it is unlikely most people will be able to pick winners. Only 27% of large-cap core funds beat the S&P 500 over 2015, which was also below the 10-year average of 36%. Over the past decade, the likelihood of outperforming a sector by randomly picking individual stocks was lower 50% in nine of 10 sectors.

“Instead of trying to pick from the thousands of individual names in the equity universe, enhancing diversification via sector investing may be a better solution,” according to Fidelity. “It also allows investors to play an active role in their portfolio construction while reducing the volatility of their equity portfolio.”

For example, investors can utilize ETF options to gain cheap, efficient and easily accessible sector exposure, including:

  • Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index (NYSEArca: FDIS)
  • Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF (NYSEArca: FSTA)
  • Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF (NYSEArca: FENY)
  • Fidelity MSCI Financials Index ETF (NYSEArca: FNCL)
  • Fidelity MSCI Health Care Index ETF (NYSEArca: FHLC)
  • Fidelity MSCI Industrials Index ETF (NYSEArca: FIDU)
  • Fidelity MSCI Information Technology Index ETF (NYSEArca: FTEC)
  • Fidelity MSCI Materials Index ETF (NYSEArca: FMAT)
  • Fidelity MSCI Telecommunication Services Index ETF (NYSEArca: FCOM)
  • Fidelity MSCI Utilities Index ETF (NYSEArca: FUTY)
  • Fidelity MSCI Real Estate Index ETF (NYSEArca: FREL)

For more information on market sectors, visit our sector ETFs category.

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