Yet another study reveals the truth about active investment management – that beating the market is hard, and doing it consistently is nearly impossible.

This particular study started in March 2009 – the beginning of the current bull market – and looked at 2,862 actively managed US equity mutual funds that were in operation for the 12 months through 2010. The funds were filtered based on performance. The study selected the 25% of funds with the best returns over those twelve months, and then checked how many of them remained in the top quarter in each of the four succeeding 12-month periods through March 2014. The answer – just two.

This result is statistically worse then you would have expected from random chance alone. According to Keith Loggie, the senior director of global research and design at S&P Dow Jones Indices, you can’t even really tell whether the performance is due to luck or skill. And, more importantly, even though some funds may out-perform for an extended period, “…we don’t know which of them will do that in advance”.

You can read the entire March 15, 2015 New York Times article here.