In the video below, Fool analyst Austin Smith takes a look at three winners from 2012.
At the very top of Austin's list: banks, tech, and Fools.
Banks were the most hated sector of the market in early 2012. Then, they soared. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) was up 100% in 2012. Citigroup, up 40%. Wells Fargo, up 23% and JPMorgan Chase, up 30%.
This came after headwinds from the London Whale, lawsuits, consumer protection, the fiscal cliff, and Dodd-Frank, Austin says.
Tech also fared well. The Nasdaq 100 was up 15%, almost double the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) for the year.
The index has a market-cap weighting like the Dow, but can count Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) in its midst. It also has rockstar stocks like Sirius XM, eBay, Amazon.com, and priceline.com, which all had a great year.
Lastly, Fools -- those who took the reins of their own investments -- were also winners, Austin says. Hedge funds underperformed again last year, up only an average 6% in 2012. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of both large-cap and small-cap managers underperformed their respective indexes.
What happened in 2012 is not guaranteed to repeat in 2013. But Austin sees all three of these trends continuing through the year ahead.
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