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Funds in turf war

Stuff – Mauled by the carnage on Wall Street, mutual funds are copying hedge fund strategies in an effort to regain some of the shine they have lost this decade.

Many investors have been burned investing in a single asset class and withdrew $234 billion (148 billion pounds) from U.S. stock funds last year as the deep bear market sparked the first annual outflow of long-term investment in mutual funds since 1988.

But as stocks sank, hedge funds soared. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, a benchmark for the broad U.S. stock market, returned a negative 40 percent this decade through the end of 2008. Hedge funds, meanwhile, gained 55 percent over the same period, Hedge Fund Research’s fund-weighted composite index shows.

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