Kudos to Newsweek for telling it like it is in its Aug. 4 issue and indicting high-fee mutual funds for their underperformance. Of course, we've been saying this for 10 years now (the Fool embarks on a new decade in August), but when the "mainstream" press jumps on the bandwagon, we can only be happy that the word is getting out there.
Quoting data from Strong Investments, Newsweek laid it on the line: "Only 1.5 percent of actively managed large-cap funds outperformed the S&P 500 in every one of the past four years."
It's been a volatile time for the stock market. Four years ago, we were at the height of the bull market, and actively managed funds underperformed. Then the market hit the skids and they continued to underperform. Unless you've found a real winner with low fees, there's just not much reason to bother.
Need further evidence? Invest $50,000 in a Vanguard 500 index fund and you'll be charged 0.18% of your assets per year, or $90. Invest the same $50,000 in exchange-traded funds like Spiders on the Amex and you'll be charged 0.11% of your assets, or $55 per year.
The average actively managed large-cap fund will charge you $640 on the same $50,000. 'Nuff said. When it comes to actively managed funds, buyer beware.