Should You Be An Active Or Passive Investor? How About Both? There’s a neverending debate in the investment world about whether it’s possible to beat the market by actively picking individual stocks (whether on your own or through actively managed mutual funds) or whether you’d be better off just sticking with a low-cost index fund that simply tracks the market. At first glance, it seems better to try to beat the market. The problem is that this is incredibly difficult. The vast majority of mutual funds fail to do so in the long run and those that do are unlikely to continue doing so in the future.