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The next time you lament that you’ll never do as well as the smart money or that your approach to investing is bush league compared to the big guys, stop beating yourself up. The smart guys may not be so smart after all.

A recent story in The New York Times by Steven Davidoff Solomon, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, notes that activist investors — the “smart money” hedge fund guys who swoop in, buy the shares of troubled companies and force change — are doing pretty poorly these days.

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