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(Wall Street Journal) — So-called absolute-return funds—portfolios that purport to deliver gains in any market environment—are hot. But many aren’t living up to their billing. Through May, funds with “absolute return” in their names saw net inflows of roughly $5 billion, up from $2.7 billion last year and $322 million in 2008, according to Morningstar Inc. Absolute-return funds don’t seek to track the stock market. Instead, they use a variety of sophisticated strategies, and dabble in a host of asset classes, to eke out gains even when the stock market is swooning.

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