Paying the vultures
Just for kicks let's look at two mid-cap funds. One an actively managed fund with a major brand, another an index fund.
We'll assume the funds have a billion dollars each collected from us (in small chunks). Over 5 years, what happens? (the returns and expenses are taken from two real funds).
So, if you need a job, run a branded mutual fund..don't bother running an index fund. Managing an index fund is boring, a computer can do it. You follow the index and periodically buy and sell some secuirities to keep your portfolio in line with the index. No decisions necessary. With an actively managed fund you get to travel around 'doing research', probably get to eat expensive dinners, play fancy golf, and you get paid oodles more...you don't even have to give anything back to your investors...you can take their money.
Do yourself a favor, look at where your 401k monies are going. Vote with your dollars and move your money away from active investors losing you money (which is most of them if not all in the long run). Beating the market in the short run is statistically feasible given a large enough population, in the long run though...
Teenagers are people who express a burning desire to be different by dressing exactly alike.