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Yes, fund description is a good place to begin. If they are public mutual funds, you will be able to check them out on Yahoo, Excite and others offer plotting services of price history. Most will let you also plot various indexes such as the S&P 500. When you plot both the mutual fund and the index, you can usually tell quickly if the fund tracks an index.

These days most fund managers have their performance measured (and their bonus determined) by beating the appropriate index. This causes many funds to track the indexes closely. The easiest way for a fund manager to guarantee his bonus is to match the index. This makes many managed funds index funds in disguise. But that doesn't keep them from charging those high expense ratios. In other words they are expensive index funds.
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