“Even as Wall Street belittles your investment abilities, it also wants you to believe you can beat the stock-market averages. This, of course, is contradictory. But it is also entirely self-serving. The more you trade and the more you invest with active money managers, the more money the Street makes. Increasingly, some of the market’s savviest investors have turned their back on this claptrap. They have given up on active managers who pursue market-beating returns and instead have bought market-tracking index funds. But Wall Street doesn’t want you to buy index funds, because they aren’t a particularly profitable product for the Street. Instead, Wall Street wants you to keep shooting for market-beating returns. That is why you should be suspicious when you hear talk of the supposed “stock picker’s market.”
– Jonathan Clements, You’ve Lost It, Now What?