Besides emerging markets mutual funds, which delivered an average return of 72% in 2009, technology, gold and commodities funds were also winners, according to Lipper.

Global science and technology funds were up 69.5% year to date through Dec. 24, and basic materials funds were right on their heels, primarily due to the decline in the dollar, delivering 66.8%. Gold funds rose 52.9%.

By comparison, in that timeframe, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 24.9%, and diversified U.S. stock funds were up an average of 37.5%.

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