Mutual Fund Rankings, 2019

U.S. markets fared better than overseas counterparts.

(Image credit: Rocky89)

Volatility wreaked havoc on nearly all of the world’s stock markets in 2018, posing a challenge for mutual funds. Most major markets posted double-digit declines. A few fell by more than 20%—officially a bear market. Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, a relative bright spot, sank just 4.4% for the calendar year. But overseas, things got ugly. Two major foreign-stock benchmarks registered hair-raising declines midyear. In both cases, a late 2018 rebound partially revived returns. The MSCI EAFE, an index of foreign stocks in developed markets, finished the year with a 14% decline. And the MSCI Emerging Markets index dropped 15%. (Returns are through December 31, 2018.)

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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.