"Indexing" to the S&P 500, for instance, is just a broad version of stock picking IMO. Not saying its goo or bad, but S&P has its own weighting methodology for tracking the 500 leading publicly traded US companies. It has become a bellwether for the US stock market and a benchmark for most equity funds, but in theory it is no different than any mutual fund that trades based on an algorithm.
Index funds are only as good as the underlying index methodology. There are plenty of actively-managed funds that have beaten index mutual funds and index ETFs. JMUEX, since 1996 (as far back as Yahoo had historical prices), has annualized returns of 7.19% with dividends reinvested. SPY and VFINX have 7.13 and 7.15% respectively. That is with all fees included. Additionally, JMUEX has 9.09% annualized returns over the last 10 years compared to 7.74 and 7.70 for SPY and VFINX respectively.
Just do your research.
This is my philosophy as well. I have several actively managed funds that have significantly outperformed the S&P over 5,10,20 year terms. I have 1 fund (AIVSX) that has averaged 12.35% since 1934. If you have Morningstar, you can find lots of funds that beat the indexes very quickly.
That being said, I still own Vanguard Index funds, in a taxable account. There's nothing wrong with doing a mix of Passive and Active management. IMO