December – Lessons Learned

Lessons learned in 2017 will set up how 2018 unfolds. The question is which lessons will prove the most significant. Global growth clearly improved in 2017—every asset class gained for the second year in a row—despite trials such as hurricanes, floods and growing political tensions. Equities had their best returns in a decade and bonds rallied, despite growth and nascent inflation, as commodities gained as well. The surprise was in the US, which saw the FOMC raise rates three times. Growth in the US rose more than expected, although the US Dollar fell 13%—the first yearly fall in five years. The biggest winners in FX were Emerging Markets, again beating Developed Markets. Volatility across most asset classes was at record lows. Economic stability and low real rates were cited by most as the main drivers of low volatility in 2017.

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