2016 was punctuated by several short bursts of volatility and quick reversals. Early in the year, global financial and commodity markets pulled back on worries about four potential Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hikes and China’s potential economic weakness. In the end, these concerns failed to materialize, as caution in Washington and Beijing promoted stability. Midyear, the “Brexit” vote shocked global markets, but investors soon realized that any repercussions were likely months, if not years, away. Finally, the U.S. election drama captivated investors to the very end. If investors were looking solely at these events, they would not have seen what was quietly happening in the background; nearly all asset classes were moving higher, some significantly so. A year like 2016 reminds us that seeing beyond day-to-day volatility matters when it comes to investment performance.
As we head into 2017, we are looking at the continuation of many trends, but we are starting to see things a little differently.
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