Where the Big Bucks Were in 2009

What would you like with your coffee? Cream? Sugar? A bar of silver?

Investopedia reported earlier this week on some investments that would have made you rich in 2009. The big winner in stocks: Diedrich Coffee (Nasdaq: DDRX  ) , with a year-to-date return of 9,500%. But if commodities are more to your taste, you could have pocketed a tidy 51% with the iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSE: SLV  ) . Gold? We don't need no stinking gold! You also could have fueled up to the tune of 70% with the United States Gasoline Fund (NYSE: UGA  ) . 

The BRIC nations would have had you sitting pretty, too. Two Chinese stocks and two Chinese IPOs could have netted you anywhere from 89% to 399%, and leading the mutual fund charge were one Russian fund and two Latin American offerings -- one of which, ProFunds Ultra Latin America, has nine of its top 10 holdings in Brazil, including Petrobras (NYSE: PBR  ) and Vale (NYSE: VALE  ) .

Naturally, no one knows what the future holds, and it's easy in retrospect to see where the lucrative investments were. But these 2009 hotshots suggest that you can make money even in tough times, if you just know where to look.

What parts of the investing world do you think might hold similar rewards in 2010? Let us know what you see for the future in the comments box below. For each post you make, the Fool will donate $0.10 to the Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, D.C., in furtherance of financial literacy.

Fool online editor Adrian Rush has cut out the caffeine in his diet but wouldn't mind a jolt to his portfolio. He has no position in any of the stocks or funds mentioned here. Petrobras is an Income Investor recommendation, and The Motley Fool owns shares of the iShares Silver Trust ETF. The Fool's disclosure policy is heading to Rio in February to attend Carnival.


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