Alpha, the excess returns of an investment fund relative to the return of a benchmark index, can sometimes be elusive.

In certain fund sectors, alpha is especially difficult to come by.

FE Trustnet completed some research into alpha generation and found the IA North America, Global, Emerging Markets and Japan sectors all failed (on average) to generate alpha during the past decade.

For investors who prefer to use actively managed funds, this is clearly bad news.

I was asked to comment for the article and explained some of the reasons why alpha can be elusive in these markets.

Here at Informed Choice, in sectors where alpha is hard for fund managers to find, we usually recommend using an index tracker fund.