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Fund Spy

An Inside Look at 2009's Best-Performing Fund Category

One country plays a very big role.

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If Christmas sales can start in mid-November, why wait until year-end to discuss 2009's investing success stories?

With that idea in mind, a Fund Spy column from a few weeks ago looked at one of the best-performing funds of 2009 to see how it had achieved its gains and examine what the fund is all about. This time, we'll look at the best-performing category of the year.

With one month to go, it seems unlikely that any other group will overtake the Latin America category as 2009's best performer. Through Thanksgiving Day, those funds have soared an average of 117%--more than double the gain posted by any U.S. stock category, including hot specialty groups such as technology and energy. In second place is the diversified emerging-markets category, which itself owes its gains partly to Latin America: The typical fund in that category has 22% of assets in that region.

Gregg Wolper does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.