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Fund Watch

Harbor Commodity Real Return

Harbor Commodity Real Return Strategy manager Mihir Worah buys futures linked to a commodity index and backs them with Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) and other bonds.

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In 2011, that strategy helped mitigate some of the pain of falling commodity prices: Harbor’s bogey sank 13.3%, while the fund lost 7.7%. Prices fell on fears that the European debt crisis would weaken the global economy, but TIPS, like other kinds of Treasuries, gained as investors rushed into investments perceived as safe. Looking ahead, Worah expects a better year for his fund. He says the Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates low should especially help lift gold and TIPS prices.

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