As the eurozone was flirting with collapse last year, few investors had the stomach for making big bets there. Observers speculated that peripheral countries would soon default on their debts, that the euro currency would collapse and that stronger members of the European Union would see years of recession in the wake.

Managers at the Legg Mason Brandywine Global Opportunities Bond, however, had a different take. When European Central Bank Chairman Mario Draghi announced plans to buy debt of the peripheral countries if needed to shore up the stronger countries' economies, the managers at Brandywine knew that there would be a payoff for the risk.

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