The third quarter saw mixed performances across the major asset classes. Large cap U.S. stocks surged, developed international equities and U.S. bonds were flat, while emerging market equities and commodities experienced modest losses. The clear winner for the quarter and year to date has been the U.S., as domestic investors have been rewarded with sizable gains at a time when international markets have suffered losses. The current temptation for investors is to keep piling into the U.S. since it’s worked the best, but astute observers realize that past performance is not indicative of future returns.
Looking into the fourth quarter, investors are left to contemplate the inconsistency that has formed between performance in the U.S. and the rest of the world, and decide whether they should position for a continuation of the current trend or play for a change that begins to close the performance gap.