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Fund Spy

Announcing the Morningstar Fund Managers of the Year for 2011

These winners stayed on track in a year of head fakes.

Mentioned: , , , , , , , , ,

What a year to be a fund manager. U.S. stocks were up early, plunged in late summer, then rose again, ending 2011 barely above water. Foreign equities, plagued by debt troubles in Europe and concerns over slowing growth in emerging markets (primarily China and India), finished the year deep in the red. The U.S. bond market enjoyed its status as a safe haven with the strength of U.S. government bonds surprising many astute investors who had been concerned about Treasuries' ultralow yields against a backdrop of slow growth and high government debt. Overall, the most successful managers were able to keep perspective by staying focused on deep research within their circles of competency.

As always, some fund managers' styles were in favor, helping elevate them to the top of the performance charts. Yet, our winners' returns cannot solely be explained by a stylistic tailwind. We look for managers who nailed the past year on the heels of much lengthier success, and we measure achievement not only by observing trailing performance but also by reviewing managers' strategies in action over time.

Karen Dolan has a position in the following securities mentioned above: TBGVX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.