Jeff Feingold runs Fidelity Magellan, once the most famous mutual fund in the world. But there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of Feingold, which says a lot about the plight of active money managers these days.
From the late 1970s through the ’80s, most Americans who invested in the stock market knew the man behind Magellan. Peter Lynch posted market-beating returns of 29 percent a year, leading many ordinary investors to think the path to riches was choosing the right money manager. Lynch’s successors, including Jeffrey Vinik and Robert Stansky, got plenty of media ink in the 1990s, even if they never came close to matching Lynch’s numbers.