Actively managed funds are actually worthwhile, despite the bashing they get in popular media.
In fact, if you look at all active funds over the past 5 years in UK and US the average return is about 14% PA (after fees)! For index funds it’s less at around 11% if I recall correctly.
Further, active funds show their true colours during collapsing markets, where stock picking can have a really positive impact. If you pick a good manager they should be able to limit the downside by about 50%
I’d recommend funds from top managers such as Fundsmith (Terry Smith) or Polar Capital Asia. If you’re not comfortable with picking a fund then choose a Fund of Funds (FoF) which is where you have a team of managers who have a portfolio of many different funds! I would highly recommend the Merlin Funds for this.
Anyway, my point is, don’t necessarily dismiss active funds until you’ve done the research, and even though the annual charge sounds bad, the numbers don’t lie, and you’ll get a better return than you would have in an index tracker like Vanguard.