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"Indexing" can mean more than just buy and hold an S&P 500 index fund.

I guess there's two ways of looking at the same information.

One is that indexing won't lead to stellar returns or protect you from volatility, as was pointed out.

The other is that if you had held a broadly diversified indexed portfolio of foreign and domestic funds with perhaps a small exposure to emerging markets over the past decade you would have averaged returns of about 8% a year without picking a single stock or paying any attention to market timing, and despite having endured three years of a rather horrific bear market.

That's not terribly discouraging.
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