A Bumpy Year for Harbor Commodity Real Return Strategy Fund

Sagging commodity prices hurt this Kiplinger 25 fund earlier in the year, but it's gotten a boost from the Fed's latest round of quantitative easing.

Harbor Commodity Real Return Strategy (symbol HACMX) has had a bit of a bumpy year. A springtime slump in the commodity market -- brought on by concerns about the health of the global economy -- dragged down the fund's returns in early 2012. But manager Mihir Worah, who invests in futures linked to a commodity index and backs them up with Treasury inflation-protected securities and other bonds, says the Federal Reserve's latest economic stimulus plan, announced in September, has been a boon for the fund. The plan's effect on the economy remains to be seen, but its impact on hard assets, such as gold, was "clear and immediate," he says. His fund's one-year return of 7.3% beats other broad-based commodity funds by a whopping 6.0 percentage points (all returns are through October 17).

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Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.