Quarterly Commentary

  • Q2 2022

    During the second quarter of 2022, the Federal Reserve officially removed “transitory” from its dictionary, acknowledging that inflation remained higher and more persistent than expected.  Fears of further acceleration pushed the Fed governors to break out their bazookas, hiking the fed funds rate to 1.58% compared to less than a tenth of a percent at the start of the year.

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  • Q1 2022

    It’s spring 2022, after two years and 500 million COVID-19 cases, a vaccine miracle permitted most countries to break free of massive pestilence not seen since 1919.  The war in Ukraine highlights unpreparedness, and Europe’s systems of finance, energy, and food totter.  Fewer than half the world’s population was alive in 1981, when inflation was last at today’s increasing levels. 

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  • Q4 2021

    Whether it was inflation, supply chain disruptions, the removal of government stimulus, the prospect of central bank monetary policies — whatever spooked investors leading to the September sell-off evaporated at the start of October, and once again, markets rose. Investors shrugged off doubt and pushed the S&P 500 to new highs in the final week of the year.

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  • Q3 2021

    Markets across the globe were muted in the third quarter, with the S&P 500 posting a modest 0.58% return and the MSCI ACWI Index falling -0.95%. Emerging markets presented a dark spot, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index falling -8.09% during the quarter.

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  • Q2 2021

    Last quarter we posited that accelerated vaccine distribution would spur reopenings and increased economic activity. Our crystal ball need not have been polished to a high sheen to proffer these prognostications, and they have indeed come to pass.

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  • Q1 2021

    Just over a year ago the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Few would have predicted the returns experienced in global equity markets over the following 12 months. With widespread economic disruption, any company demonstrating growth — regardless of profitability — became a rare commodity, and investors bid prices higher.

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  • Q4 2020

    At Saturna, we entered 2020 with cautious optimism.  Geopolitical uncertainties, rich corporate valuations, and stretched monetary policies kept us vigilant, while generally strong business and economic fundamentals supported optimism.  What we didn’t foresee was the looming pandemic, widespread economic shutdowns, and rapid government intervention.

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