As to which fund family has the best index funds, Ferri says Vanguard has traditionally offered good ones, but the recent ETF pricing war is bringing others into view. And no matter which index fund you choose, he says it's much better to bet on the benchmark than the fund manager seeking to beat it.

"The naysayers of index funds argue that there are ways to select winning active funds in advance, and this makes active management a winning bet. Seeking alpha with a winning mutual fund method would make sense if one existed, but it doesn't. And even if such a method did exist, it would stop working rather quickly as millions of investors pile into the same winning active fund and handcuff the manager with billions of new dollars to invest."
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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