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INSIGHTS INTO THE 

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Putting the Recent Market Volatility in Perspective

“Sell everything… We think investors should be afraid.” “Stronger US Dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade, weaker EM (and global growth)… and repeat. The economy seems trapped in a death spiral.” While similar comments were likely on CNBC or tweeted in the last 48 hours, these two particular quotes come from two years ago, by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Citigroup respectively. This was also the last period of any significant market volatility in recent years, with a decline of over 10% on the S&P 500 from the start of 2016 to February 11, 2016.

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Q4 2017 Market Commentary

Global stock markets delivered robust gains once again in the fourth quarter, capping off a stellar 2017. In the U.S., the S&P 500 rose every month of the calendar year for the first time ever. Emerging Market stocks led the way during the quarter with MSCI Emerging Markets up 6.8%, while the S&P 500 rose 6.6% and non-U.S. developed markets, as measured by MSCI World Ex US, were up 4.2%.

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Q3 2017 Market Commentary

Global stock markets delivered robust gains in the third quarter 2017 as volatility fell in the U.S. and the dollar depreciated, supercharging International returns. Emerging Market stocks led the way with MSCI Emerging Markets up 7.9%. Non-U.S. developed markets, as measured by MSCI World Ex US, were up 5.6%, while the S&P 500 rose 4.5%.

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Fear the Fed?

“The Fed’s rate hike could cause chaos in markets — and investors may not be ready.” While this could easily have been a headline from this year following Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes in March and June, this particular headline from Reuters came out in December 2015, just before the first rate hike in the years following the financial crisis.

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International Investing Rewards Patient Investors

What a difference a few months can make. Whether it was Brexit, Grexit, worries about China or “expert” predictions of imminent global financial collapse, many investors in the last few years turned away from investing internationally – or at least questioned if it really made sense for their portfolios.