It’s generally agreed that 2020 was not a great year. But for investors, there was a happy ending to it all.
Despite the headwinds of the pandemic, most mutual funds and exchange traded funds showed strong returns by the end of the year. Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index fund, the largest fund by assets, returned 19.5 percent as of the end of December, more than double its average annual performance.
Bond funds also did well, showing slow and stead growth. The average intermediate-term core bond fund returned 7.3 percent as of the end of December.
Cryptocurrency also had a boom year, as institutional investors and large companies finally got on board with the volatile digital currency. Bitcoin rose from the $3,800 level to now stand above $31,000 as of today.
All of these reflect a market that took a 30 percent hit from February to March, when the US pandemic first emerged on a large scale. Panic selling ensued, plunging prices into the depths. But the blood in the streets lured in others, and their patience has paid off.