2019 was an extraordinary year for most asset classes, and global equities in particular, with the MSCI World Index delivering its third best gain in the past 30 years. Markets climbed a wall of worry, receiving a boost from the January reversal of central bank policy coupled with an easing of two significant risk factors faced at the beginning of the year: Sino-US trade tensions and Brexit. US equities and highly priced technology stocks led the advance. Unlike the poor market sentiment entering 2019, current bullishness has reached six-year highs, while other measures of risk, includi
The Altrinsic Global Equity composite gained 2.8% during the third quarter, outperforming the flat and +0.5% returns by the MSCI ACWI and World indices, respectively, as measured in US dollars. Dovish central banks and subdued inflation provided a supportive backdrop for equities, but the weight of tepid growth in profits, weakening economic indicators, high debt levels, and escalating geopolitical risk (US-China trade war, US politics, Brexit, and developments in the Middle East, to name a few) contributed to volatility that is likely to persist. Aggregate portfolio risk, measured by bet
Global stock markets delivered robust gains thus far in 2019, outperforming all other asset classes. This strength continued during the second quarter as dovish central bank commentary outweighed the preponderance of weak economic data and tariff fatigue. Key developments during the second quarter included aggressive declines in bond yields, continued yield curve inversion in major markets, rallying equity markets led by US stocks, "growth" continuing to outperform "value," disparate performance among commodities, and reduced pricing of risk as indicated by narrowing CDS spreads in most c
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell's shift to more accommodative policies and improving confidence surrounding U.S.-China trade negotiations were the primary drivers of strong first-quarter gains for most asset classes. As seen in Chart 1, Q1 performance was an abrupt reversal from the fourth quarter swoon. Global equities, as measured by the MSCI World Index, gained 12.5% as measured in U.S. dollars, led by U.S. equities and, most notably, high-priced "growth" stocks. The Altrinsic Global Equity Composite gained 10.0% during the quarter.
2018 was a challenging environment for all asset classes, but particularly in equities, where negative returns were delivered across nearly all major markets and industries. We outperformed market benchmarks during the fourth quarter and for the full year, as our intrinsic value discipline kept us out of many significant decliners, especially among banks, highly cyclical businesses, and previously high-flying tech stocks.
The Altrinsic Global Equity portfolio delivered a 5.4% return during the third quarter, outperforming the 5.0% gain by the MSCI World Index as measured in U.S. dollars. Strong equity market gains during the quarter masked a challenging environment characterized by a significant divergence in underlying stocks’ performance. The dominance by a small group of high-priced and crowded U.S.
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The Altrinsic Global Equity portfolio gained 2.7% during the second quarter. By comparison, both the MSCI World and ACWI indices increased 1.0% as measured in U.S. dollars. Stock-specific factors were the primary sources of outperformance amidst an eventful macro backdrop. During the quarter, British citizens voted to leave the European Union, concerns about the European banking system intensified, Middle East unrest spread to distant lands, and the yields on U.S.