It might seem with special knowledge and techniques, one can outperform the stock market. That has been the idea behind many stock mutual funds. These special funds rarely turn out to be good ideas. Two Wall Street Journal articles review some of these types of funds:
From the WSJ: Bruised Quant Funds Seek a Human Touch
A group of 65 such funds tracked by investment-research firm Morningstar Inc. lagged behind 72% of their category rivals, on average, in the three years ended Aug. 27.
From the WSJ: A Hot Fund Design Turns Cold
a look at the performance of 130/30 funds managed alongside equivalent long-only funds at the same firms suggests their returns have been disappointing, at least in the short term.