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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/2012-mutual-funds-results-30455028.aspx

Subject:  2012 Mutual Funds Results Date:  12/28/2012  3:53 PM
Author:  globalist2013 Number:  34583 of 35909

Morningstar is reporting that 2012 was a good year for investors.

YTD averages Category Number of funds
11.89% All Categories 12,689
13.91% US Stocks 7,779
17.05% Intl' Stocks 3,607
7.83% Bonds 6,289
11.40% Balanced 4,408
-1.24% Alternative 775
14.16% Sectors 1,447

7.83% All Bonds 6,289
3.68% All Gov't 705
6.53% All Non-gov't 1,919

12.23% All Specialty Bonds 1,573
14.60% High-yield Bonds 585
11.44% Multi-sector Bonds 284
7.78% World Bonds 303
17.56% EmgMkt Bonds 208
7.43% Non-traditional Bonds 193

7.11% All Tax-free Bonds 2,092
8.87% Muni Nat'l Long 234
13.73% Muni High-yield 162



As you can see from the YTD results for the various fund categories, if you had done nothing more imaginative than throw a dart at the preceding list and bet all of your money on where it landed, your odds would have been pretty good of achieving a return in the neighborhood of 11.40%. That’s not big money. But it is very decent money, offering a real-rate of return after taxes have been paid and a realistic, 5%-6% rate of inflation has been subtracted.

If you had done some tactical asset-allocation (aka, market-timing), you might have made a bit more. OTOH, if you had bet on the hedgies (the ‘alternative’ fund managers), you would have gotten killed. This isn’t to say that hedge funds might not serve some investors well. But the ordinary investor is better off sticking with simple, ‘plain vanilla’ investments: some US stocks, some US bonds, and maybe a dab of something mildly exotic like international stocks or bonds, or taxable and municipal high-yields.

Of special interest to me is the category ‘multi-sector bonds’, because that is my sole and only investment-objective, and it has been so for a dozen years now. Morningstar reports there are 284 fund managers who pursue that investment-objective, and their average return was a respectable 11.44% this year. The highest return for the group was a whopping --and very outlier-- 21.20%. Morningstar doesn’t report the lowest return, nor do they report all of the returns. But they do report the top 42.

Rank %tile YTD Ticker Name
1 0.99 21.20 PONAX PIMCO Income A
2 0.98 18.54 AGDAX AllianceBern High Income A
3 0.98 17.40 PLSRX PL Strategic Income I
4 0.98 16.32 RGCAX Russell Global Opportunistic Credit A
5 0.97 15.95 MXLMX Great-West Loomis Sayles Bond Init
6 0.97 15.49 LSFIX Loomis Sayles Fixed Income
7 0.97 14.98 LSBDX Loomis Sayles Bond Instl
8 0.96 14.96 JYGAX JHancock2 Global High Yield A
9 0.96 14.92 SMARX Brandes Separately Managed Acct Res Tr
10 0.95 14.25 DINBX Morgan Stanley Fixed Income Opps B
11 0.95 14.19 PDVAX PIMCO Diversified Inc A
12 0.95 13.96 NAMFX Virtus Multi-Sector F/I A
13 0.94 13.81 MASAX MainStay Flexible Bond Opportunities A
14 0.94 13.62 HFAAX Henderson Strategic Income A
15 0.94 13.58 PIAFX Invesco Premium Income A
16 0.93 13.43 OPSIX Oppenheimer Global Strategic Inc A
17 0.93 13.34 NEFZX Loomis Sayles Strategic Income A
18 0.93 13.12 LBNDX Lord Abbett Bond-Debenture A
19 0.92 12.77 JESNX JHVIT Strategic Income Opps Trust Ser I
20 0.92 12.72 PDINX Putnam Diversified Income A
21 0.92 12.72 RNSIX RiverNorth Doubleline Strategic Inc I
22 0.91 12.47 JHSEX JHancock2 Strategic Income Opps NAV
23 0.91 12.42 TSIAX Thornburg Strategic Income A
24 0.91 12.41 GGBFX GuideStone Funds Global Bond GS4
25 0.90 12.40 VCSBX VALIC Company II Strategic Bond

26 0.90 12.37 MY RETURNS FOR A MUTLI-SECTOR BOND PORTFOLIO

27 0.89 12.27 FRSTX Franklin Strategic Income A
28 0.89 12.22 SDIAX SunAmerica Strateg