What a year to be a fund manager. U.S. stocks were up early, plunged in late summer, then rose again, ending 2011 barely above water. Foreign equities, plagued by debt troubles in Europe and concerns over slowing growth in emerging markets (primarily China and India), finished the year deep in the red. The U.S. bond market enjoyed its status as a safe haven with the strength of U.S. government bonds surprising many astute investors who had been concerned about Treasuries’ ultralow yields against a backdrop of slow growth and high government debt. Overall, the most successful managers were able to keep perspective by staying focused on deep research within their circles of competency.
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