Index funds have regularly produced rates of return exceeding those of active managers by close to 2 percentage points. Active management as a whole cannot achieve gross returns exceeding the market as a while and therefore they must, on average, underperform the indexes by the amount of these expense and transaction costs disadvantages.
Properly measured, the average actively managed dollar must underperform the average passively managed dollar, net of costs. Empirical analyses that appear to refute this principle are guilty of improper measurement.
I can't figure out why anyone invests in active management, so asking me about hedge funds is just an extreme version of the same question. Since I think everything is appropriately priced, my advice would be to avoid high fees. So you can forget about hedge funds.