05 Jan Q4, 2018 Asset Class Return Quilts
The complete quilt deck can be downloaded here.
The top three performers for 2018 (cash, muni bonds and U.S. taxable bonds) were all ranked in the bottom five of performers for 2017.
Recent weakness was not enough to unseat U.S. large caps from their spot as the top-performer for the last ten years. REITs were in a close second place.
Higher short-term interest rates and widespread weakness across virtually all other global asset markets helped move cash to the top-performer spot for 2018.
Despite a strong 2016 and spectacular 2017, weakness earlier in 2018 and poorer returns from 2013 to 2015 have resulted in emerging market stocks trailing U.S. stocks by over 5% p.a. for the last ten years.
Commodities remain in last place over the last ten years despite back-to-back annual gains in 2016 and 2017.
If history is a guide, the strong relative performance of U.S. stocks for the last decade – and especially since 2013 – suggests a rotation to leadership from another asset class shouldn’t be ruled out.
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