A handful of UK fund managers have emerged triumphant from the crisis, hunting out profits in the misery.
Jonathan Miller, the head of research for London-based Citywire, told the 'Daily Telegraph' this week he believes he has found those fund managers who performed during unprecedented market extremes.
"Fund managers who have been able to navigate through this period with consistent performance stand out from the crowd, and are ones I believe are worth backing for the long term," Mr Miller said.
Detailed are the Magnificent Seven -- one for each of the most popular investment sectors along with their current Citywire rating and an indication of how much £1,000 would be worth if invested five, three and one year ago, according to Morningstar.co.uk
UK All Companies
M & G Recovery
5-year performance: £1,530
3-year performance: £1,029
1-year performance: £1,082
Thomas Dobell has managed the Recovery fund since 2000 and it is the largest in the UK All Companies sector, with £5.4bn under management. The fund is heavy with exploration stocks and the fund's five biggest holdings include BP, Tullow Oil and Royal Dutch Shell.
UK Equity Income
Threadneedle UK Equity Income
5-year performance: £1,295
3-year performance: £956
1-year performance: £1,077
Leigh Harrison has managed Threadneedle's equity income fund since March 2006 and has a reputation for being a cautious investor, but his approach has paid off -- over the past three years his fund has returned nearly 3pc, an impressive feat considering that the index has lost 14pc.
His two biggest stocks are pharmaceuticals GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.
Global Emerging Markets
Aberdeen Emerging Markets
5-year performance: £2,484
3-year performance: £1,479
1-year performance: £1,243
In the first half of this year, Devan Kaloo and his team managed to return 8.5pc -- five times the rise in the MSCI index.
Mr Kaloo likes financials, investing the largest chunk of his portfolio, 28pc, in the sector, as well as about 10pc in oil and gas, consumer services, consumer goods and technology.
Jupiter Financial Opportunities
5-year performance: £1,470
3-year performance: £1,080
1-year performance: £847
Philip Gibbs and Guy de Blonay have dramatically reduced the fund's US weighting as Mr Gibbs worried about unemployment figures and a less than roaring economic recovery.
At the same time the pair increased the fund's exposure to Chinese financials, with Bank of China and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China moving into the fund's top 10 holdings.
M & G Strategic Corp Bond
5-year performance: £1,427
3-year performance: £1,397
1-year performance: £1,083
Richard Woolnough is a fixed interest stalwart who has been managing money since 1987.
This fund is free to invest up to 20pc in global and other UK bond markets, although currently 99pc of the fund is in UK fixed income, with the remaining 1pc in cash.
Around 92pc of the fund is invested in corporate bonds, and 7pc is invested in gilts.
Asia Pacific Ex-Japan
First State Greater China Growth
5-year performance: £2,692
3-year performance: £1,257
1-year performance: £1,223
Martin Lau has outperformed the Golden Dragon index, which is a composite of the China, Hong Kong and Taiwan indices, in every one of the past five years.
However, Mr Lau is uncertain about the region's future, believing it to be over-hyped and over-invested -- which threatens China's short-term growth.
He also worries about the slowing demand for technology and considers Chinese property prices to be unsustainable.
Europe Ex UK
Neptune European Opportunities
5-year performance: £1,591
3-year performance: £974
1-year performance: £951
Rob Burnett joined Neptune in 2002 as an analyst, but quickly rose through the ranks to become manager of its flagship fund, the Neptune European Opportunities, less than three years later.
Mr Burnett has beaten the market in four of the past five years, and is fast becoming one of the heavyweights of the European equities world.
His strategy of avoiding cyclical companies is shown by the allocation to energy falling from 7.2pc at the end of March to less than 1pc now.