Q4, 2018 Asset Class Return Quilts

Q4, 2018 Asset Class Return Quilts

The complete quilt deck can be downloaded here.


Some highlights:

  • 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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