The case against the actively managed mutual fund, and the managers who run them, is getting stronger as the exchange traded fund (ETF) is gaining preference, and rightfully so.

Former mutual fund investors who took a hit this year are facing a deteriorating market and the managers who picked the so-called “winning” stocks. Stock pickers in seven of nine U.S.-stock categories have trailed the corresponding S&P indexes, investment researcher Morningstar Inc. revealed.

The exchange traded fund(ETF) is gaining appeal to many individual investors who crave transparency and lower costs. Jonathon Burton for The Wall Street Journal reports that switching over to ETFs isn’t exactly easy, and there are no equal translations, so there is research to be done.

About 700 U.S.- and international-stock ETFs jumble various sectors, strategies and styles. Then, mixing matters are “fundamental” ETFs, which blend elements of active management with conventional indexing methods. Financial advisors can help sort through the mess.

At ETF Trends, model portfolios include iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA) and Claymore/BNY Mellon BRIC (EEB), among others.  Expenses are low, you know what you’re buying, and from a diversification standpoint you should benefit over time.