Silver, copper and lead funds rose as much as 39 percent in the period. And the Tocqueville Gold Fund (TGLDX) moved up 19 percent. The new world-stock Encompass Fund (ENCPX) did even better, jumping nearly 29 percent in the first quarter.
The Lipper Equity Mutual Fund Indices were generally down for the quarter, and all were negative performers for the past 12 months. In the first three months of 2009, though, the science and technology index rose 4.36 percent, gold was up 12.07 percent, and convertible securities increased 1.29 percent.
For the past 12 months, however, all the fund indexes had dropped from 18.69 percent to 57.05 percent. Health care/biotech funds decreased by about 18.7 percent, income funds dropped by about 20 percent and balanced funds fell nearly 27 percent. Gold funds had an average decline of 28.47 percent from March 2008 to March 2009.