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The fear that persisted in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has been replaced by complacency and growing excesses in many markets.  It was difficult to lose money in 2017, as 38 of the 39 major asset classes monitored by Deutsche Bank delivered positive returns.  Global equity markets, as measured by the MSCI World Index, climbed in every single month of 2017 and have now delivered a 237% total return since their 2009 lows.2  Stock market valuations have become stretched by historical measures, while interest rates, credit spreads, and volatility hover near all-time lows. 

Quarterly Letter

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The fear that persisted in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has been replaced by complacency and growing excesses in many markets.  It was difficult to lose money in 2017, as 38 of the 39 major asset classes monitored by Deutsche Bank delivered positive returns.  As measured by the MSCI World Index, equities climbed in every single month of 2017 and have now delivered a 237% total return since their 2009 lows.2  Stock market valuations have become stretched by historical measures, while interest rates, credit spreads, and volatility hover near all-time lows.  Reflecting th

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Strong gains were delivered across most markets and asset classes during the third quarter, fueled by synchronized (yet tepid) global economic growth, a benign inflationary environment, and continuing unorthodox monetary policies.  Improving corporate earnings further supported market strength with emerging markets and the most economically cyclical industries leading markets to all-time highs.  Meanwhile, volatility levels, as measured by the VIX index, fell to all-time low levels.  This inherent complacency is unsettling in light of historically low interest rates, high valuation levels,

Quarterly Letter

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Strong gains were delivered across most markets and asset classes during the third quarter, fueled by synchronized (yet tepid) global economic growth, a benign inflationary environment, and continuing unorthodox monetary policies.  Improving corporate earnings further supported market strength with emerging markets and the most economically cyclical industries leading markets to all-time highs.  Meanwhile, volatility levels, as measured by the VIX index, fell to all-time low levels.  This inherent complacency is unsettling in light of historically low interest rates, high valuation levels,

Research

The world is changing fast. The threat of disruption is real and growing with the potential for catastrophic outcomes for companies and industries across the globe. Once formidable barriers to entry are breaking down under the onslaught of new, fast-moving competitors empowered by the changing dynamics of the mobile internet age.

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The Altrinsic International Equity Portfolio gained 7.9% in the second quarter, outperforming the MSCI EAFE's 6.1% rise as measured in U.S. dollars.  Outperformance was overwhelmingly driven by stock-specific factors, most notably delivered by our investments in Nintendo (Japan), Japan Exchange (Japan), and Heineken (Netherlands). At the broad market level, underlying corporate earnings have been strong, but the degree of complacency in many markets concerns us.  Macro imbalances persist and stock market valuations remain elevated, following a robust nine-year climb.

Quarterly Letter

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The Altrinsic Global Equity portfolio gained 5.9% in the second quarter, outperforming the MSCI World's 4.0% rise as measured in U.S. dollars.  Outperformance was overwhelmingly driven by stock-specific factors, most notably delivered by our investments in Nintendo (Japan), Ionis Pharmaceuticals (U.S.), Heineken (Netherlands), Nestlé (Switzerland), and Intercontinental Exchange (U.S.). At the broad market level, underlying corporate earnings have been strong, but the degree of complacency in many markets concerns us.

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Global equity markets, as measured by the MSCI World Index gained 6.4% during the first quarter.  The Altrinsic Global Equity portfolio returned 5.0% over the same period, as measured in U.S. dollars.  An improving outlook for corporate profits in many parts of the world, easing of stresses emanating from China, and a continuation of reflationary central bank monetary policies outweighed the ongoing geopolitical uncertainties, lofty asset valuations, and macroeconomic imbalances in many of the world’s largest countries.

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The Altrinsic International Equity Portfolio gained 7.4% during the first quarter.  International equity markets, as measured by the MSCI EAFE index returned 7.2% over the same period, as measured in U.S. dollars.  An improving outlook for corporate profits in many parts of the world, easing of stresses emanating from China, and a continuation of reflationary central bank monetary policies outweighed the ongoing geopolitical uncertainties, lofty asset valuations, and macroeconomic imbalances in many of the world’s largest countries.

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The Altrinsic Global Equity portfolio gained 0.7% and 11.9% during the fourth quarter and full year, respectively.  By comparison, the MSCI World gained 1.9% and 7.5% over the same periods, as measured in U.S. dollars.  Strong absolute and relative gains were delivered during an eventful year in which key developments, most notably Brexit results and the election of Donald Trump, defied the odds makers.

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