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The Teacher Retirement System of Texas lost 0.6% during the third quarter on its $14 billion holdings of stocks from countries like China, Brazil, Russia and Turkey. Such declines helped to cap the fund's overall return to 2.2% -- well below the average for U.S. institutional investment plans.
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A decade ago, amid an economic boom in "emerging markets" like Brazil, Russia, India and China, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas decided to plow nearly 10% of all savings into stocks from the countries. Now, the teachers are reeling from the mistake, with subpar returns and outsize risks that could have been easily avoided had the fund just stuck with large U.S. stocks.
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