If Your Stock Fund Lost Less Than 38% in 2008, You're Lucky

Health-care funds were the year's best performers, with an average loss of 23 percent.

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If your stock fund lost less than 38 percent in 2008, you're gold. OK, relatively gold.

The stock-fund category includes both active and index funds, but the average loss for actively managed stock funds--that is, those managed by a real, live stock picker--was 41 percent in 2008, according to Morningstar. Investors also didn't find refuge in a particular size category: large-cap mutual funds and small-cap mutual funds both declined about 38 percent.

Surprisingly, target-date funds, many of which include a large chunk of bonds, lost an average of 22 percent. Health-care focused funds fared the best of all categories of stock funds, with an average 23 percent loss.

For mutual-fund investors, it's good riddance 2008.