By tilting a portfolio towards sources of higher expected returns, investors can potentially outperform the market without needing to outguess market prices. Implementation and patience are paramount. If one is going to pursue higher expected returns, it is important to do so in a cost-effective manner and to stay focused on the long term.
There’s no evidence that investors can reliably predict changes in interest rates. Even with perfect knowledge of what will happen with future interest rate changes, this information provides little guidance about subsequent stock returns. Instead, staying invested and avoiding the temptation to make changes based on short-term predictions may increase the likelihood of consistently capturing what the stock market has to offer.
Predicting which part of a market will do best over a given period is tough. US small cap stocks were among the top performers in 2016 with a return of more than 21%. A year before, their results looked relatively disappointing with a loss of more than 4%. International small cap stocks had their turn in the sun in 2015, topping the performance tables with a return of just below 6%. But the year before that, they were the second worst with a loss of 5%. With sufficient diversification, the jarring effects of performance extremes level out.
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.
Next month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is certain: There will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and prognosticators about how the election will impact the stock market.
So what is our stance? Find out in the featured article in this quarter’s market review. This publication gives an overview of what has happened in capital markets during the past three months.
Despite the pundit’s “earth shattering” news of Brexit, the exit of the UK from the European Union, the bull run continued, this past quarter, for almost every asset class owned in our portfolios. The leader of the pack was global real estate, adding to its Q1 return of almost 7%, with an increase of 4.48%.
We are so pleased that our clients showed calmness and discipline through all the headlines of Brexit.
After two quarters of negatives, the tides have finally turned as almost all major asset classes and client portfolios finished positive for the first quarter of 2016. The big winner for the quarter was Global Real Estate, with an almost 7% increase.
We remain confident in our investment philosophy and belief that downturns, as painful as they are while we are in them, are usually short lived and give way to periods of growth.