The booming stock markets of the past few years made it difficult for investors to be losers, according to Wall Street Journal. Of 62 categories of stock-focused mutual funds tracked by Lipper, 51 categories had double-digit returns for the year through Wednesday. An investor who invested $10,000 in U.S. diversified stock funds at the end of the last year was richer by about $873 on average, as compared to $687 in the year-earlier period.

International funds showed the highest gains among all mutual-fund categories. The top three funds were China Region Funds at 59.3 % gains, Latin America stock funds at 43.3% and Europe stock funds returning 33.5 %. Investors chased the performance and poured a record $154.4 billion in international funds through October. The figure is on track to surpass the $163 billion invested in these funds last year, according to Financial Research Corp.

Also, it was a strong year for investors who put money in to funds that track major stock indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index rose 16.7% for the year through Wednesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index gained about 14.3%, and the Russell 2000 advanced 18.5%. The strong showing by indexes made it tougher for funds to beat the index and only 19% of all actively managed fund managers beat the S&P 500.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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