Mutual Fund Report
There’s no sugarcoating what happened to stock mutual funds last year. ¶ Wall Street’s deepest losses since the 1930s ravaged the fund nest eggs of millions of Americans. There was almost no place to hide. ¶ The average domestic stock fund lost 36% in 2008, according to Morningstar Inc. ¶ It was worse for foreign stock funds, which for five straight years through 2007 had posted much bigger gains than domestic funds -- in turn luring an avalanche of money from U.S. investors. ¶ Last year, the average foreign stock fund crashed 44%. ¶ The math is awful from here: If your fund fell 36%, it will have to rise 56% just to get back to even. ¶ In harrowing times like these, you may well question every rule you’ve ever heard about stock investing -- including whether it’s worth the risk at all.