Judging by the headlines in the financial press, investors spent much of the past year anxiously awaiting one calamity after another that failed to occur. The plunge off the so-called fiscal cliff was averted. The euro zone did not fall apart. China’s economy and stock market did not crash. The bond market did not implode. The re-election of President Barack Obama did not derail the US market. Doomsday did not arrive on December 21, as some interpreters of the Mayan calendar suggested it would.
Instead, the belief that owning a share of the world’s businesses is a sensible idea appears to be alive and well, despite suggestions from some observers that the “cult of equity” is dead. For the year, total return was 16.42% for the MSCI World Index in local currency, and 16.00% for the S&P 500 Index. Among forty-five global stock markets tracked by MSCI, only three posted negative results in local currency (Chile, Israel, and Morocco), and twelve markets had total returns in excess of 25%, with Turkey leading the pack at 55.8%. Although much of the financial news over the past year highlighted Europe’s fragile financial health, most of the region’s equity markets outperformed the US, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. For US dollar-based investors, results were further enhanced by a modest decline in the US dollar relative to the euro, the Danish krone, and the Swiss franc.
As is so often the case, earning the rewards offered by the world’s capital markets may have required a combination of discipline and detachment that eluded many investors.
We always advocate this kind of investment approach and encourage clients to rise above the noise of day to day fluctuations and ignore the temptations of market timing and speculation.
2012 Index and Country Performance
Total return (gross dividends) for 12-month period ending December 31, 2012.
|WORLD ex USA||16.73||17.02|
|EMERGING + FRONTIER MARKETS||17.15||18.35|
To speak to us about how our investment philosophy could help you contact us on 0131 273 5202 or use the form on the website.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment; therefore, their performance does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio.
MSCI data copyright MSCI 2013, all rights reserved. S&P data are provided by Standard & Poor’s Index Services Group.