First, S & P has a few different indices and until this year the large-cap growth index was one of the top ones(As was a Nasdaq tracker of course) and this year marks a return to the flip side where value indices may be better as well as mid-cap indices if you look at S & P's current stats(http://www.spglobal.com/currentindexstat.html) you'd see that as of the close on 12/28 while the 500 is down 9%, the mid-cap 400 is UP 18.39% and the small-cap 600 is UP 13.01% which may just illustrate that at different times different chunks of the market do well.Also, from 1994-1999 the S & P 500 beat I think 95 out of 100 Morningstar indices(One source: http://news.morningstar.com/news/MS/SpecialReports/991108special.html ).I think the key is to have context in what you read as well as an understanding that index funds should underperform their benchmark by an amount equal to their expenses.JB
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