Writing off flexible funds altogether can mean tossing aside some great funds and fund managers, however. Here's how even style-specific devotees might work flexible funds into a portfolio.
Give away some but not all control.
Use style-specific funds at the core of your portfolio. Treat them as building blocks to meet your asset-allocation goals and save a portion of assets for flexible funds. That way, your overall asset allocation won't get beyond your control.
Because change is a given, monitor flexible funds carefully.
Keep an eye on where and why your flexible fund's manager is moving. And if you choose to devote significant assets to more than one flexible fund, enter your portfolio in Morningstar.com's Instant X-Ray to take note of how your overall portfolio is positioned. Instant X-Ray will tell you how much you have in each investment style. If all of your flexible-fund managers are favoring large-growth stocks, you may want to assume they know something you don't and let them ride. Or you may want to temper that bet somewhat. In any event, know what you own.