NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Because of their low expenses, index funds often outdo 60% or more of their actively managed competitors. But in some recent years, Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (VBTLX) has delivered unusually strong performance. In 2008, the fund surpassed 91% of intermediate-term bond competitors, and last year Vanguard topped 88%, according to Morningstar.Do the results prove once and for all that active managers aren't worth the fees they charge? Hardly. Vanguard's strong showing is due to temporary shifts in the bond markets. Soon enough the pendulum is likely to swing the other direction, and active managers will easily outdo the benchmark.
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