The first part on why index funds are generally better than active stock picking is available here, the second part was on the folly of market timing. The third part is on the returns of commodities entitled that No, You Shouldn't Own Commodities -- Ken French: "
"Ken French, professor of finance at Dartmouth's Tuck School and the director of investment strategy at Dimensional Fund Advisors. There's no reason for most investors to own commodities. Contrary to popular belief, they aren't a good inflation hedge, and they don't provide a long-term real return that investors aren't already exposed to through normal stock ownership."