Despite high oil prices, the continuing war in Iraq, natural disasters and ongoing hikes in the Fed funds rate, equity mutual funds returned 9.27% and fixed income funds rose 2.06% in 2005, according to a report from Lipper of New York.

The study, titled, "Global Themes in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Review of the Global Pooled Investment Management Industry," also notes that all of Lipper's 56 equity classifications posted positive returns in 2005. Further, U.S. exchange-traded fund assets grew significantly in 2005, taking in $5.2 billion to rise 61% during the year. In addition, the number of these offerings increased 20% to now top 200, and Lipper analysts believe that ETF growth will continue to outpace mutual funds in years to come.

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