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Since passive investing came on the scene with the introduction of the first index fund on Dec. 31, 1975, debate has raged over the relative merits of active and passive investment management.

In one corner are the traditional stock-picking managers of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, who contend that their skill in determining what to invest in, and when to buy and sell, delivers the best performance for investors.

Pitted against them are the indexers and proponents of passive investing, who say that it’s impossible to beat the market in the long run, so just ride the wave in the cheapest, least complicated way possible.

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