The conventional wisdom on investing has been that the markets are inefficient, and smart people, working diligently can, after the costs of their efforts, persistently exploit mispricings and deliver alpha. However, as Nicolas Chamfort, an 18th-century French writer best known for his wit noted: "There are well-dressed foolish ideas, just as there are well-dressed fools."

Active management is a foolish idea no matter how many people believe it or how fervent their belief. If you haven't been convinced, perhaps the following will help.

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