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Why you can't beat the market

Granted, things have been different recently. In the last 12 months, for example, L&G's UK index fund has returned just 13.2 per cent, ranking it a lowly 265th out of 405 funds.

But there might be a simple reason for this. In the last 12 months many big shares such as Tesco, BP, Royal Dutch and Anglo American have done poorly. This has dragged down the index relative to most shares. With most stocks beating the market, you'd expect stock-pickers to outperform.

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