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5 Worst Mutual Funds So Far in 2012

Gold funds really have taken a beating

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Closed-End FundsDespite the year’s jarring volatility, the overall market hasn’t done so bad, with the S&P 500 making out 6% gains thus far. But that just means there’s been a few more winners than losers, and some of the losers have been bad.

The same can be said for the mutual fund industry. While a number have looked good so far, a number have produced terrible results. So which funds have fared the worst so far in 2012? Let’s take a look, but first, a couple rules:

  1. I only looked at funds with a minimum of $100 million in assets. Tiny funds can suffer devastating losses simply because the money managers usually have to deal with large outflows.
  2. The gold sector was by far the hardest hit so far — in stark contrast for the past decade, in which gold could seem to do no wrong. So, I also only took the worst fund in a category. If not, my list would have only consisted of gold funds!

After crunching the numbers, here are the losers that stood out:

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