Quarterly Market Review
Quarter 4, 2016 Market Review
In 2016, the US market reached new highs and stocks in a majority of developed and emerging market countries delivered positive returns. The year began with anxiety over China's stock market and economy, falling oil prices, a potential US recession, and negative interest rates in Japan. US equity markets were in steep decline and had the worst start of any year on record. The markets began improving in mid-February through midyear. Investors also faced uncertainty from the Brexit vote in June and the US election in November.
Many investors may not have expected global stocks and bonds to deliver positive returns in such a tumultuous year. This turnaround story highlights the importance of diversifying across asset groups and regional markets, as well as staying disciplined despite uncertainty. Although not all asset classes had positive returns, a globally diversified, cap-weighted portfolio logged attractive returns in 2016.
Considering that global markets are incredible information-processing machines that incorporate news and expectations into prices, investors are well served by staying the course with an asset allocation that reflects their needs, risk preferences, and objectives. This can help investors weather uncertainty in all of its forms. The
following quote by Eugene Fama describes this view:
"If three or five years of returns are going to change your mind [on an investment], you shouldn't have been there to begin with."
By following the link below you will find the fourth quarter's market review and an annual review.