When Warren Buffett challenged traditional asset managers over charging exorbitant fees that couldn’t be justified by their performance, passive funds were still a relative unknown. 

It was in 2008 just as the global financial crisis was nearing its depths. He bet that funds that did no more than track the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 would over a decade beat their active peers, where the manager handpicks stocks, with fees, costs and expenses factored in. It wasn't even close...

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