The stocks of publicly traded asset management firms are varying widely, with those that are well-diversified outpacing the S&P 500, but the more specialized firms, apparently affected by the credit crisis and more susceptible to an economic slowdown, are faring worse, The Wall Street Journal reports. Those that have listed their shares on an exchange within the past year are also among the worst performers.

But over the long term, the market will favor smaller boutique firms, said Andrew Mitchell, an analyst with Fox-Pitt Kelton.

Due to better performance in its mutual funds and $660 million in stock buybacks through September, Janus Capital has gained investors’ favor, and its stock was the best-performing among asset management firms year-to-date through November—surging a whopping 64% from $20.48 at the beginning of the year to $33.57.

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