Monday, August 22, 2016


What can we surmise from the major asset classes table below? A lot. Bear in mind that these returns are priced in USD, which has generally performed well against most currencies this year.

Major developed equity markets had a largely rough first few months in 2016, thanks to Brexit. However the recovery was quite sharp too in July, compared to the overall YTD performance. Are there anything the markets are not afraid of anymore. There is a running theme across the asset classes - negative interest rates in some developed nations. You can literally see that impacting across the board.

Emerging markets equity had an even better performance YTD, and rallied alongside developed markets last month. When priced in USD, it also meant that the actual returned were further enhanced in local currency (for most).

Where you find the greatest impact of the negative interest rates theme - REITs, foreign, US and emerging markets bonds... look at their YTD gains in USD.

As you are beginning to see the movement and adjustments by bond funds into "other bonds" away from negative interest rates zones, you are also seeing the movement of "new money" NOT away from bond funds gradually. Those funds that had to be in bonds are already swishing and realigning themselves.

The bastardisation of currency (excessive QE) also meant that there is a major shift into "real assets"... in our case REITs and gold. Gold has surged 27% YTD and I do not see that ending anytime soon.

Oil has given back half its rally in just last month. Even then, it was not enough to roil the markets anymore. We are shifting into the negative interest rates zone, whereby hot money are now having to look elsewhere for yields.

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