2017 Annual Market Review

Economic Overview: Solid economic data gave markets little to be concerned about

As we reflect on the year gone by, 2017 proved to be another year of surprisingly strong investment returns across the board. The last quarter provided positive returns and equity markets are now in their ninth year of a bull market. No major risks materialised in 2017, so market volatility continued to be low throughout the year.

Reflections on 2016 & Beyond

A question one should ask oneself periodically is: “how is my portfolio getting along?”. Trying to get to the bottom of this seemingly simple question often leads to more questions than answers. The answer is generally a combination of fund selection, asset allocation and fees.

For MASECO, let’s reflect on asset allocation first. On the equity side, we currently tilt portfolios away from US equity into a higher allocation towards Emerging Markets. This is a long-term belief that we believe is designed to improve both returns as well as diversification (given the US otherwise represents about 54% of global equity markets). This idea had very little performance impact last year, as both equity regions produced only marginally different returns over the 12 months (comparing MSCI EM with S&P 500 in USD)1.