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Part 3: Whether richer or poorer, in good times and bad, investors soldier on

By Dian Vujovich

As 2011 gets closer to the last trading day of the year, no matter what the tally is on their various accounts, investors keep on keeping on. And that’s a good thing.

Another good thing is not to wander into the new investing year with blindfolds on.

Hopefully, Part 3 of my year-end round up will prevent that from happening. After all, it’s all about performance, isn’t it.

For the mutual fund investor each week you will find performance figures from Lipper about how various types of mutual funds have fared at Allaboutfunds.com.

A quick look at that data shows the average U.S. Diversified Equity fund down nearly 3 percent year-to-date through December 20. Leveraged equity funds lost the most ground; the average one in that category was down 15.24 percent. Two bright spots were S&P500 funds, up 1.2 percent, and equity income funds, up 2.4 percent on average.

As always, it’s Sector funds where you’ll find the most action. Of the 1,865 funds under this heading, the top two performing categories were health/biotech funds, up 7.8 percent, and utility funds. The average fund here moved up 7.5 percent. The two biggest losers were precious metals funds, down over 20.3 percent and commodities base metals funds off 19.8 percent.

Not one of the World Equity funds rewarded investors with India region funds giving up the most ground; the average fund was down over 35.5 percent. The average World Equity fund, btw, was off over 14 percent.

For the stock investor, the folks at Madison Mosaic funds put together a number of charts showing equity market attribution year-to-date also through December 20.

Biggest losing sectors within the S&P500, according to this source, were financials, off 20 percent, then materials, down 12.5 percent. Additionally, it was the smallest-cap companies that hurt investors the most, down 19 percent, and the largest-cap ones that rewarded them, up 4.1 percent.

Going forward, it’s always anybody’s guess about where tomorrow’s money will be made. But if history is any guide sometimes one year’s biggest losers turn into the following year’s biggest winners.

Keep that in mind, going forward.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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