Magician David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear, but even he might be envious of the neat trick some mutual fund companies have recently accomplished: making poor-performing mutual funds – and their records – vanish.
Heading into 2010, most financial analysts and investment professionals seem to agree on two things: We’re no longer on the brink of another Great Depression, and there won’t be another 60 percent surge in the stock market anytime soon. Beyond that, things get a little hazy.
As anyone devoted to the rituals of swirl, sniff and sip can attest, 2009 was a very good year for bargain hunters – whether they’re newbie collectors who rarely pay more than $50 for a bottle, or seasoned wine geeks who write six-figure checks for pristine cases of the rarest old first-growth Bordeaux and Burgundy.
A year ago, with the markets and the economy in meltdown, the SmartMoney Power 30 was full of the usual cast of government giants and Wall Street heavyweights: Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Warren Buffett. But as the U.S. moves into a new phase, a time of slow but seemingly steady recovery, some of the biggest players might seem more on the fringe – academics, advisers, even a lobbyist.