The second quarter of 2021 has seen most major markets continue on an upward path.
For once, the UK, as measured by the FTSE 100 was not the laggard, as that prize went to Japan. However, in Q2 the FTSE 100 was still behind the overall global equity performance of 6.8% in sterling terms. This is primarily because of the 50%+ weighting to the USA in that index. The S&P 500 was the strongest performer in Q2, but for the year to date, it was neck-and-neck with the Euro Stoxx 50.
In the US, the influence of technology on market performance has waned somewhat. Take out technology companies from the S&P 500 and it would have posted a gain of 14.9%. Nevertheless, the top five tech stocks still account for over 21% of the S&P 500.
Increasing bond yields were a notable feature of the last six months, although the rises were concentrated in the first quarter. Notably, the yield on 10-year US Treasuries fell by 0.3% over the second quarter.
The second quarter continued the pattern of the first quarter with a gentle rise. The question for the second half of the year is whether this will continue or whether the jump in inflation, still mostly thought of as ‘transitory’ by the market, applies a brake.
How have your portfolios done?
Our portfolios focus far more on the longer-term view than the shorter term. They do not ignore it, but we focus far more on managing risk than we do reaching for returns. Our portfolios are now more than nine years old and have gone through a full market cycle. As you can see below, they have broadly outperformed the average wealth manager and managed fund since they started:
Over the last year this has also broadly been the case:
All data taken from Financial Express.
You should be aware we will not always outperform. We stick to a set level of risk and refrain from trying to time the markets. Over the short term, this may lead to underperformance. Over the long term, our investment process should help our clients get suitable returns.
Be aware that past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Markets can go down as well as up.