It has been anything but a year of wellness for health care providers.
The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Provider Fund (IHF) has fallen 47% so far this year, more than the S&P 500's 32% decline.
The ETF returned 18.3% in 2007 vs. 5.5% for the S&P 500. The underperformance was unexpected in 2008, in light of the fact that many investors sought out less-risky asset classes as the year unfolded. Historically, an investment in health care would have sounded like a good place to be, given its defensive nature. This notion has proven to be anything but the case.
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