I like to call it hope springs eternal, Active fund managers constantly insist it is a stock pickers market" and virtually every time active fund managers underperform the market. The argument for "a stock pickers market" is often based on the argument that "correlation between stocks is high therefore more stocks are likely to outperform. The WSJ reports on the first half below..my highlights in red and comments in bold
The SPIVA report from S+P which is more accurate since in measures performs vs a more specific benchmark (large cap funds vs large cap index etc). The results at the end of 2013 showed under performance in 1, 3 and 5 year performance. Also remember the report studies the percentage of outperformers not persistence of returns thus the active managers that outperform for 3 years may not be the same that outperformed over 5 years.
From the WSJ