Just as in 2011, only about 1 in 5 active managers are beating their benchmarks in a year marked by the same type of headline volatility caused by events in Europe and fiscal concerns closer to home.
While the advantage of passive over active is nothing new, the near-record level of futility is, and the cracks are beginning to show.
Political factors are about decisions and perception, not ratios.
"The market is being driven by macro factors," Flam said. "So most professional advisors have a background in evaluating companies, industries, economies. It's not in politics, and politics is what dominating the markets over the last couple of years."