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The sectors which returned over 200% in the last decade

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It has been a monumental ten years for equity and bond markets, with the euphoria of the first half matched by the despair seen on the faces of traders in the second half, after one of the worst financial meltdowns ever seen.

With steep rises in stocks from 2002 until 2007, most investors were wholly unprepared for the sudden and shocking falls we would witness in 2008.

Today the financial system remains constricted around the world, as banks rush to unwind over-stretched balance sheets, and economies contract in the face of a potential slowdown in China and the US.

Investors, battered for the last four years by equity markets, have rushed into bonds in ever greater numbers in the ongoing search for returns, while everyone has got used to the idea you cannot get 5% on cash anymore.

But where, if you had a crystal ball, should you have put your money back in 2002, to give you the highest possible return?

Below, according to data from Morningstar, is a run down of the top performing IMA sectors over what has been a turbulent decade.

Only three sectors managed to deliver you over 200% if you had invested in the average fund, while a further eight sectors would have more than doubled your investment.

The data covers the period from July 2002 to July 2012, showing the percentage gains for an investor who put £100 into the average fund. The % change (gains) includes any dividends the investor would have been paid, while the final column shows the number of funds investors had to choose from if they invested ten years ago.


UK Registered Investment Funds
 Sectors % Chg No. of Funds
(IMA) Global Emerging Markets 244.16 21
(IMA) China/Greater China 241.00 9
(IMA) Specialist 224.10 47
(IMA) Asia Pacific Excl Japan 191.47 40
(IMA) UK Smaller Cos 187.06 34
(IMA) European Smaller Cos 183.88 11
(IMA) Asia Pacific Incl Japan 133.97 6
(IMA) Nth American Smaller Cos 130.57 5
(IMA) Technology and Telecommunications 106.02 9
(IMA) UK All Companies 103.67 175
(IMA) UK Equity Income 102.67 55
(IMA) UK Index Linked Gilts 97.68 6
(IMA) Flexible Investment 97.20 38
(IMA) Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares 91.30 51
(IMA) UK Equity and Bond Income 89.60 16
(IMA) Global Bond 88.66 36
(IMA) Global 87.81 106
(IMA) Europe Including UK 87.56 15
(IMA) Europe Excluding UK 87.45 63
(IMA) £ High Yield 86.43 12
(IMA) Absolute Return 76.61 2
(IMA) Global Equity Income 71.89 3
(IMA) Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares 69.51 25
(IMA) £ Strategic Bond 65.26 23
(IMA) UK Gilts 63.50 16
(IMA) North America 63.36 43
(IMA) Mixed Investment 0-35% Shares 59.33 4
(IMA) £ Corporate Bond 50.85 44
(IMA) Japanese Smaller Cos 50.49 6
(IMA) Property 43.20 4
(IMA) Protected 40.59 1
(IMA) Money Market 25.33 8
(IMA) Short Term Money Market 24.46 8
(IMA) Japan 19.00


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