Quarterly Commentary

  • Q1 2024

    The first quarter of 2024 provided several surprises, not least the US stock market's strong performance following a buoyant 2023. The ebullience was not limited to the United States. Global stock markets performed impressively, apart from a few exceptions such as Brazil and China/Hong Kong. Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan all registered double-digit local currency returns.

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  • Q4 2023

    The land of conventional wisdom can be a dangerous place. Conventional wisdom from 12 months ago proved to be wrong, as it was 12 months before that. A recent bulge bracket firm survey reported that investors ended 2023 the most bullish they had been since early 2022, and we know how that year turned out. Might the dominant expectation be shattered again as we move through 2024?

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  • Q3 2023

    In the third quarter of 2023, investor attention was primarily focused on the interest rate environment (ignoring political issues, such as Congressional battling over budgets, funding, and the Speaker of the House). While Federal Reserve rate increases moderated, the target rate was raised 25 basis points (bps) at the July meeting, and the current outlook envisages one additional hike.

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  • Q2 2023

    History was setting up 2023 to be a good year and, reviewing the first half of 2023 performance, the track record appears likely to remain intact. Year-to-date, the S&P 500 Index rose a healthy 16.89%, while the more Tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index soared 32.32%.

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  • Q1 2023

    The New Year kicked off with an ebullient rush back into assets as equities, corporate debt, and Treasurys all caught a bid. In many ways, it looked like the S&P 500 rally that began in mid-October was set to continue after a brief pause for tax-loss selling in December. Buoying the narrative were a series of positive data points that suggested that the Federal Reserve was winning its war on inflation.

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  • Q1 2023

    The New Year kicked off with an ebullient rush back into assets as equities, corporate debt, and Treasurys all caught a bid.  In many ways, it looked like the S&P 500 rally that began in mid-October was set to continue after a brief pause for tax-loss selling in December.  Buoying the narrative were a series of positive data points that suggested that the Federal Reserve was winning its war on inflation.

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  • Q4 2022

    In 2022, three consecutive years of highly remunerative stock market returns collided with persistent inflation, the Federal Reserve pushing rates sharply higher, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine causing food and energy prices to soar. These combined forces, abetted by high valuations, drove equities to their worst annual performance since 2008 and the Global Financial Crisis.

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  • Q3 2022

    Times of tumult, such as we’ve seen this year, warrant reflection. The pandemic and the government’s shifting focus to issues at home overshadowed the saber-rattling seen in 2019. Part of this shift included a flood of fiscal and monetary stimulus, which provided support to keep economies from succumbing to a microscopic agent, but eventually led asset prices to balloon and the economy to overheat.

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