Slideshow Worst YTD returns: Which mutual funds made the list?

Published
  • December 06 2017, 3:44pm EST
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The equity markets have been on a tear this year (as our list of high-flying funds demonstrated last week). But like all years, there’s a big gulf between the leaders and laggards.

We collected the 20 funds with the worst year-to-date performances as of Dec. 4 with an AUM minimum of $500 million. All but three are in natural resources, namely energy, gold and real estate. The others focus on value investments.

In a testament to just how frothy the market is overall, the average return of these 20 is a relatively muted -2.3%. To add insult to injury, though, these returns (read: losses) didn’t come cheap. The average expense ratio was 1.11% — about even with the 1.08% that last week’s top performing funds charged.

With sector investments, especially those that are often global in nature like natural resources, higher expenses can be expected. But it still makes for an unpleasant surprise when viewed side by side with negative returns.

To check out this year’s losers — plus how they’ve fared over three years — scroll through the list. All data from Morningstar.

20. Janus Henderson Contrarian (JACNX)

YTD Return: 4.64%
3-Yr. Return: 0.77%
Expense Ratio: 0.70%
Net Assets (millions): $2,597

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19. T. Rowe Price Real Estate (TRREX)

YTD Return: 4.57%
3-Yr. Return: 5.97%
Expense Ratio: 0.74%
Net Assets (millions): $6,126

18. Oppenheimer Real Estate (OREAX)

YTD Return: 4.50%
3-Yr. Return: 5.27%
Expense Ratio: 1.33%
Net Assets (millions): $1,177

17. JPMorgan Small Cap Value (PSOPX)

YTD Return: 4.12%
3-Yr. Return: 9.68%
Expense Ratio: 0.99%
Net Assets (millions): $2,065

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16. USAA Precious Metals and Minerals (USAGX)

YTD Return: 3.80%
3-Yr. Return: 1.79%
Expense Ratio: 1.22%
Net Assets (millions): $569

15. Fidelity Select Gold (FSAGX)

YTD Return: 3.34%
3-Yr. Return: 5.84%
Expense Ratio: 0.84%
Net Assets (millions): $1,337

14. Poplar Forest Partners Institutional (IPFPX)

YTD Return: 2.97%
3-Yr. Return: 7.19%
Expense Ratio: 1.00%
Net Assets (millions): $778

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13. Vanguard Energy Inv (VGENX)

YTD Return: 0.03%
3-Yr. Return: 0.42%
Expense Ratio: 0.41%
Net Assets (millions): $9,447

12. JHancock Natural Resources NAV (JHNRX)

YTD Return: -1.23%
3-Yr. Return: -2.82%
Expense Ratio: 0.97%
Net Assets (millions): $514

11. Victory Global Natural Resources (RSNRX)

YTD Return: -1.36%
3-Yr. Return: -3.87%
Expense Ratio: 1.48%
Net Assets (millions): $1,443

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10. Ivy Natural Resources (IGNAX)

YTD Return: -2.10%
3-Yr. Return: -2.63%
Expense Ratio: 1.72%
Net Assets (millions): $597

9. Prudential Jennison Natural Resources (PRGNX)

YTD Return: -2.59%
3-Yr. Return: -3.90%
Expense Ratio: 1.95%
Net Assets (millions): $1,528

8. Franklin Gold and Precious Metals (FKRCX)

YTD Return: -5.66%
3-Yr. Return: 2.86%
Expense Ratio: 1.11%
Net Assets (millions): $981

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7. Franklin Natural Resources (FRNRX)

YTD Return: -5.77%
3-Yr. Return: -3.79%
Expense Ratio: 1.06%
Net Assets (millions): $517

6. Fidelity Select Natural Resources Port (FNARX)

YTD Return: -5.94%
3-Yr. Return: -1.57%
Expense Ratio: 0.84%
Net Assets (millions): $940

5. Spirit of America Energy (SOAEX)

YTD Return: -6.61%
3-Yr. Return: -9.78%
Expense Ratio: 1.44%
Net Assets (millions): $662

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4. Fidelity Select Energy (FSENX)

YTD Return: -8.15%
3-Yr. Return: -0.87%
Expense Ratio: 0.79%
Net Assets (millions): $1,908

3. VanEck Global Hard Assets (GHAAX)

YTD Return: -8.68%
3-Yr. Return: -5.37%
Expense Ratio: 1.38%
Net Assets (millions): $2,094

2. Invesco Energy Inv (FSTEX)

YTD Return: -11.66%
3-Yr. Return: -9.11%
Expense Ratio: 1.27%
Net Assets (millions): $648

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1. Fairholme (FAIRX)

YTD Return: -13.27%
3-Yr. Return: -0.73%
Expense Ratio: 1.03%
Net Assets (millions): $1,844