An index fund, by design, is intended to simply replicate the movement of stocks in a particular financial index, such as the S&P 500.

And if asset managers (or their investing clients) are to believe Vanguard Group founder John Bogle (Money Management Executive, November 29, 2010) or the last instructions of dying banker Gordon Murray ("Your Money," New York Times, November 26, 2010) it's futile to try to actively manage money, for a better-than-market return.

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