Unfortunately, our comment in last quarter’s Outlook that “While not a likely near-term event, the Federal Reserve may be the eventual candidate to take the punch bowl away via overly aggressive interest rate hikes” turned out to be true a lot sooner than we expected. On October 3rd, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell declared that interest rates were “… a long way from neutral…” While continued gradual interest rate increases were well telegraphed by the Federal Reserve, Mr. Market decided that the Federal Reserve’s forward intent had gotten out of line with economic realities. (more)
Market Oriented Strategy & Outlook
The Market Oriented Core Strategy did not escape the market carnage that occurred in the 4th Qtr. of 2018. The total return in the quarter was -16.6% compared with the S&P 500 benchmark return of -13.5%. For the calendar year, the performance for the 4th quarter pushed us below our calendar year benchmark. For 2018, the MO Core return was -8.2% in comparison with the S&P 500 return of -4.4%. (more).
Worldwide Equity Strategy & Outlook
Our Worldwide Equity strategy did not escape the market decline in the 4th quarter. However, we were happy that our companies defended well, giving up -10.7% compared to our Global Equity Benchmark dropping -13.3% and the S&P 500 down -13.5%, respectively. It was rewarding to see our Value based strategy defend well during the 4th quarter market turbulence. (more).
Worldwide Dividend Plus Strategy & Outlook
Although the equity market was quite challenging in the fourth quarter of 2018, our Worldwide Dividend Plus equity strategy managed to once again outperform its benchmark during this period. Although for much of 2018 the market has been dominated by the growth sector (and in particular, Technology), the fourth quarter saw value outperform as global growth concerns began to negatively impact some of parts of the market that had been doing better earlier in 2018. (more).