Investors gave stock pickers a resounding vote of no confidence in 2014, pouring $216 billion—a record inflow for any mutual-fund firm—into Vanguard Group, the biggest provider of index-tracking products, according to preliminary figures from the mutual-fund group.
Those large inflows accentuate a trend away from fund managers and toward so-called passive investments that mimic indexes and other benchmarks for a fraction of the cost of the typical mutual fund.
Active investments have been hurt by years of subpar performance and high fees. Data through November, the latest available, show investors pulled $12.7 billion in 2014 from actively managed U.S. stock funds while plowing $244 billion into similar passively managed funds, according to fund-research firm Morningstar Inc.
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