The Latest Maket Insights 2018-Q4
2018 proved quite difficult for investors as most investments produced a negative return across styles, sectors and asset classes. Even the most conservative investments were not immune to the market’s pressure. Typically, investors are rewarded for taking risks and investing in the capital markets; this past year was not the case. While it is difficult to eliminate risk, our job is to manage it and try to reduce it as best we can through diligent research and manager selection. Reflecting on the year, January proved particularly strong for global stocks as the S&P 500 Index jumped about 8 percent in the month. New tax cuts at the individual and corporate level fueled renewed optimism among investors. At the same time, the Federal Reserve made it clear they intended to “normalize” interest rates after several years of historically low rates. From late January through early spring, investor optimism began to wane. Higher interest rates and growing international trade disputes spooked investors, which led stocks to decline about 10 percent. By the end of the third quarter, the combination of very strong corporate earnings and modest trade resolutions led investors to push domestic stock indices back to all-time highs.