Domestic fixed income had the best year of all asset classes in a year of significant volatility, according to the Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns 1992-2011.
In the summary, Callan Associates notes that despite exceptionally low yields at the beginning of the year and an expectation of higher interest rates, those rates stayed low, leading to a return of more than 7.84% for fixed income in 2011.
The U.S. stock market returned 2.11%; developed markets, -12.14%; and emerging markets, -18.17%.
Of U.S. stocks, the strongest asset class was large-cap growth, with a return of 4.65%, while large-cap value returned -0.48%.
The Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns 1992-2011 ranks annual returns for eight asset classes, from best to worst. Standard market indexes are used as proxies for each asset class.