Quarterly Commentary | Saturna Capital



Navigating Today's Volatile Markets



  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q2 2019

    Looking at the 18.54% total return for the S&P 500 through the first half of the year, the 14.49% return for the MSCI EAFE Index (non-US developed world), or the 10.58% gain for the MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, one could be forgiven for believing world economies and corporate profitability have entered a Golden Era of buoyant confidence, linear expansion, and wisely benign governance.  If only we were so lucky.

  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q1 2019

    The first quarter of 2019 presented a sea change from the fourth quarter of last year.  The S&P 500 index was down -13.52% in the fourth quarter of 2018, but it saw a double digit rebound in the first quarter of 2019, returning 13.65%.  This change in sentiment (or animal spirits) between the fourth quarter and the first had to do with two main issues: Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) actions and trade tensions with China.



  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q4 2018

    Just when 2018 was shaping up to be the third consecutive year of excellent stock market performance, the fourth quarter arrived, volatility reappeared, and major indices surrendered their gains for the year. The S&P 500 Index, which had been up over 9% through September, plummeted -13.52% in the fourth quarter, leading to a full year loss of -4.38%.

  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q3 2018

    US stock markets enjoyed the strongest quarter of the year over the summer – a resounding rebuke to the old saw, Sell in May and Go Away.  As analysts like to say on earnings conference calls, let’s “unpack” the third quarter, “breaking down” the “puts & takes.”  Chief among sources of support for US equity...

  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q2 2018

    Following a volatile first quarter, US equity markets steadily recovered until a ratcheting up of trade rhetoric and tit-for-tat tariffs in mid-June undermined confidence and shaved a few points off US returns.  Other markets, the developing economies in particular, suffered greater damage...

  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q1 2018

    Through the first few weeks of 2018 the good times continued to roll as the S&P 500 Index appreciated over 6%.  At the end of January and into early February, however, investors were reminded that the stock market does not move in a linear fashion as the S&P 500 slumped...



  • Sextant Funds Quarterly Commentary Q4 2017

    2017 was a remarkable year for equity markets around the world but not entirely in the way we normally think of a “Great Year for Stocks." While the percentage gains were significant, they were not unprecedented. As recently as 2013, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) returned...

  • Q3 2017 Sextant Cover Image

    Equity indices around the world continued their remarkably steady march higher over the third quarter, despite the war of words that erupted between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un; an exchange that caused serious people to discuss the risk of miscalculation...

  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q2 2017

    While markets continued to advance in the second quarter, the pace slowed appreciably from the first; unsurprising considering that signature initiatives of the Trump administration – replacing the Affordable Care Act, tax reform, and infrastructure development – have failed to launch.

  • Sextant Mutual Funds Quarterly Commentary Q1 2017

    Major US market indices wrapped up the first quarter with gains that could be considered respectable for an entire year.  The appreciation was remarkable considering the context in which it was accomplished.  The three-month period featured the inauguration of a new president who quickly embarked on a series of rookie mistakes...