There has never been a shortage of controversial financial topics making headlines, and today is no different. Current newsmakers include cryptocurrencies, GameStop, SPACs, and nonfungible tokens. However, the item that concerns most prudent investors is the recent rise in inflation.
The third quarter saw equity markets continue their recovery from the March 23rd lows. International small company stocks (per the MSCI EAFE Small Cap Index) led the way, returning 10.25% for the quarter, followed by emerging markets (per the MSCI EM Index) with a 9.56% return.
The second quarter 2020 saw a significant rebound in equity markets following the jolting declines in the first quarter. Domestic small company stocks (per the Russell 2000 Index) led the way with a return of 25.42%, followed by the S&P 500 with a return of 20.54%.
To say that equity markets had a challenging start to 2020 would be an understatement. The record highs reached in mid-February by the S&P 500 seem like a distant memory after the 30% drop in March – the quickest decline from a new high ever recorded.
As a whole, 2019 was a strong year for risk assets. Domestic equities led the way, with the S&P returning 31.49% for the year.
Year to date, global equity market returns remain strong, but returns were mixed for the third quarter.
After another tough year for international stocks, we’re reminded of the popular Clash song from 1981 (Should I Stay or Should I Go). In 2019, investors may question the inclusion of international stocks in their investment portfolios.
The U.S. economy saw slightly weaker growth during the third quarter with a 2.7% GDP estimate, down from 3.10% during the second quarter.
Presidential elections bring heated emotions from both sides, especially when it comes to protecting your financial investments. As humans, we’re often driven by these strong feelings, but it may come as a surprise that they usually don’t have a large impact on financial markets.
There is a myth that is pervasive in the investment industry that most historical investment gains are attributed to dividends and the stocks that pay them. If this were true you could make a case for owning only dividend-paying stocks.