US Stock Funds Rise 11.4% in 2004

December 28, 2004 ( - US stock mutual funds brought investors solid returns in 2004, but the pace was off from last year's totals.

Lipper Inc., a fund research firm owned by Reuters, said that preliminary data as of December 23 shows that diversified stock funds were up 11.4% in 2004, while the average world stock fund rose 16.1%.These numbers are down slightly from last year, according to Reuters, when diversified stock funds were up 32%, and the average world fund rose a whopping 40%.

In 2004 however, the numbers were still positive, especially in the international arena. Emerging markets funds rose 21.2% on the year, while Latin American funds rose a substantial 35.7%. Europe performed well, with funds up 20.7%, and Pacific region funds were up 12.9%. Japanese funds saw lesser gains at 8.6%, and nearby China funds rose 8%.   Foreign stocks benefited substantially in 2004 from the devaluation of the dollar, according to Reuters.

Reuters also reported that the net sales of stock funds, as well as funds comprised of both stocks and bonds, was $24.4 billion in November, the largest since the first two months of the year (See Money Market, World Equity Funds Strong Draw in November ).