Fourth Quarter | 2018

After years of generally rising equity markets, 2018 saw broad equity declines with pronounced volatility in the final quarter where markets swung up and down by multiple percentage points on many days. Global equities as measured by the MSCI All-Country World Index dropped 7.8% during the quarter. The main catalysts of the weakness appear to be worries about rising interest rates, trade actions, slowing global economic growth, and the flattening of the U.S. treasury yield curve.

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Second Quarter | 2017

Investment headlines in the second quarter of 2017 were once again full of politics, with developments in Europe, the U.K. and the U.S. dominating discussion. One might say the quarter was not so good for the populists: Trump found himself embroiled in scandal, British Prime Minister Theresa May managed to lose her conservative party’s majority by calling a snap election, and Marine Le Pen was soundly defeated in France’s Presidential contest by Emmanuel Macron. Political uncertainty notwithstanding, it was a solid quarter overall for investment performance: most major equity and bond markets posted positive returns.

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First Quarter | 2017

The themes that emerged in the fourth quarter of 2016 carried through to the first quarter of 2017. Confidence in the outlook for global economic growth continued to take hold, moving equity markets broadly higher. European and Emerging Markets were the leaders while the U.S. market achieved new all-time highs. Bond yields rose for most of the last three months, with 10-year Treasuries rising to as much as 2.6%, before falling largely in line with the levels achieved by the end of 2016.

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