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Gross Alone Beating Stocks as Bears Fail to Profit From Crashes

Two market crashes in a decade haven’t helped bear-market mutual funds avoid the distinction of worst-performing strategy. The only exception: Bill Gross.

Gross, best-known for overseeing the world’s biggest bond mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., also runs the top-ranked fund that bets on a decline in stocks. The $1.6 billion Pimco Stocksplus TR Short Strategy Fund has advanced 3 percent annually in the past five years, the only bear-market mutual fund to beat U.S. stocks over that period, according to Morningstar Inc. Bear funds trailed equities over five and 10 years, and were the worst performers over both periods.