"Investment [or Fund] management, is the professional management of various securities (shares, bonds etc) and other assets (e.g. real estate), to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of the investors. Investors may be institutions (insurance companies, pension funds, corporations etc.) or private investors (both directly via investment contracts and more commonly via collective investment schemes eg. mutual funds) "
Managed funds could be the way to go for the "defensive investor." That is, if you don't have the time & effort to devote to your portfolio. It does come at a price though. They usually cary around 2% depending on the type of fund you select. It's usually lower for the more conservative ones. The growth ones are usually more expensive but offers better returns. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that any returns is definite -- the higher the potential, the higher the risk. So, the growth funds might look attractive and seem to offer a lot, especially given its past performance, it could be risky. Another important note: past performance do not determine future performance. You can't expect the same performance over and over again.
Index funds is a good choice for those that want a diversified portfolio, which usually allows very broad exposure. The fee is generally cheaper as well.
The Vanguard Index Australian Shares is one such example where the fund "seeks to match the total return of the S&P/ASX 300 Index (before fees)".