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The equity markets have been on a tear this year (as our list of high-flying funds demonstrated last week). But like all years, there’s a big gulf between the leaders and laggards.

We collected the 20 funds with the worst year-to-date performances as of Dec. 4 with an AUM minimum of $500 million. All but three are in natural resources, namely energy, gold and real estate. The others focus on value investments.

In a testament to just how frothy the market is overall, the average return of these 20 is a relatively muted -2.3%. To add insult to injury, though, these returns (read: losses) didn’t come cheap. The average expense ratio was 1.11% — about even with the 1.08% that last week’s top performing funds charged.

With sector investments, especially those that are often global in nature like natural resources, higher expenses can be expected. But it still makes for an unpleasant surprise when viewed side by side with negative returns.

To check out this year’s losers — plus how they’ve fared over three years — scroll through the list. All data from Morningstar.


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