While the rest of the world is consumed by what’s happening in Washington, Wall Street (and the equivalent Avenues, Boulevards, and so forth across the world) seem they couldn’t care less about the drama as they keep putting in new all-time highs. These days, with friends and family asking about shorting volatility, it doesn’t seem like an investor can make a wrong decision about broad based stock indices, with World Stocks up near 20% YTD, U.S. Stocks at +12% YTD, and nearly every other asset class making gains in July. Even the dismal long-only commodity sector made gains to break a string of six straight months of losses.
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The question on the Contrarian’s mind is when will the damn break? Or maybe we should be asking will the damn break? Our favorite (required) mantra is past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results – and while that is usually used to caution investors from putting too much reliance on a new hedge fund or the like – the words seem most apropos to the stock market at these levels. These dizzying returns will stop at some point… but when that is — is the million dollar question. Which camp are you in? Is there a black swan on the horizon that’s staring at us in the face without the ability to decipher it? Or are have we solved all of the problems which led to two crashes in an eight-year span?
Whichever it is, here’s the euphoric market – by the numbers:
Source: All ETF performance data from Morningstar.com
Sources: Managed Futures = SocGen CTA Index, Cash = 13 week T-Bill rate,
Bonds = Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND),
Hedge Funds= IQ Hedge Multi-Strategy (QAI)
Commodities = iShares GSCI ETF (GSG);
Real Estate = iShares DJ Real Estate ETF (IYR);
World Stocks = iShares MSCI ACWI ex US Index Fund ETF (ACWX);
US Stocks = SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)
Article by RCM Alternatives