If you want to have more flexibility in your allocation, but also keep costs low and minimize your oversight, index funds may be a good alternative for you. These funds simply seek to match the return of a market index by holding the same securities contained in that index (or a representative sample in the case of bond funds). Because of their passive strategy, most index funds have lower costs, a strong advantage that has made them quite competitive with actively managed funds over time.
Also, because an index fund's strategy is straightforward, a manager change is typically less of a concern for an index fund versus an actively managed fund that depends on a star stock-picker.
Index funds are a good option for those who want a simplified but diversified portfolio; a single broadly based index fund can provide exposure to virtually the entire stock or bond market, thus enabling a portfolio compilation of only a few low-maintenance funds. And for investors in taxable accounts, index mutual funds, and especially exchange-traded funds (due to their unique structure), tend to be very tax efficient, which means less time and money spent on keeping the taxman at bay.
Although constructing a portfolio yourself will require you to be attentive to your asset allocations, this chart can help you find an allocation that is right for you if you're unsure where to start.