January 6, 2022

Equity Funds Post Sixth Quarterly Gain in Seven for Q4, with an Average 4.73% Return

by Tom Roseen.

Despite a rise in the coronavirus omicron variant during the month, increasing geopolitical concerns from Russia and China, inflationary worries, and a less dovish Federal Reserve Board, mutual funds posted their sixth quarterly plus-side return in seven in Q4. For Q4 2021, the average equity fund posted a 4.73% gain, with Refinitiv Lipper’s U.S. Diversified Equity Funds macro-classification (+6.68%) outpacing the other six major equity groups for the first quarter in four. For December, the average equity fund rose 3.44%—its second month of plus-side returns in three. And for 2021, the average mutual fund returned its strongest one-year return since 2019, returning a handsome 17.03%—its third consecutive year of posting double-digit returns.

For Q4, 91 of Lipper’s 104 equity and mixed-assets fund classifications posted positive returns. In total, 87% of all individual equity and mixed-assets funds posted plus-side returns for the quarter.

In this segment, I highlight the fourth quarter, December, and 2021 performance results for equity mutual funds and ETFs.


  • For Q4 2021, equity funds (+4.73% on average) posted their sixth quarterly gain in seven.
  • Lipper’s U.S. Diversified Equity Funds macro-classification (+6.68%) outperformed the other six broad-based equity groups, followed by World Sector Equity Funds (+6.39%) and Domestic Sector Equity Funds (+6.02%).
  • The Real Estate Funds (+14.24%) classification posted the strongest returns in the equity universe for Q4.
  • The World Equity Funds macro-classifications housed three of the five worst-performing classifications in the equity universe for Q4, with Latin American Funds (-4.41%) posting the weakest return of the subgroup.
  • The average equity fund returned a handsome 17.03% return in 2021—its third consecutive year of double-digit returns.

Click here or the Download Full Report link in the upper right-hand column of this page to download the Fourth Quarter 2021 FundMarket Insight Report: Equity Funds Post Sixth Quarterly Gain in Seven for Q4, with an Average 4.73% Return.

Refinitiv Lipper delivers data on more than 330,000 collective investments in 113 countries. Find out more.

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