Passive investing will usually win out over active in the long term due to a combination of low fees and the fact that very few portfolio managers can really beat the market consistently. But over finite time periods, and in specific markets, the active managers can indeed surpass ETFs and index funds.

That's what we found when we compared the best active funds with the best passive funds in the large-cap growth area for the past three years. We've ranked the top 20 of each type by three-year annualized returns, and we also included expense ratios.

The result in nutshell? The returns, and the fees, for the active funds are ever-slightly higher on average. See these winning funds or click here for the slideshow version. All data is from Morningstar.