Listen to a replay of our fourth quarter 2019 Litman Gregory research team webinar. Topics covered (among others): investment challenges, municipal bonds, U.S. and European stock valuations, value vs. growth, and small vs. large.
What a difference a year makes. While in 2018, it was very difficult to make money in financial markets, in 2019, pretty much everything went up … a lot. In our year-end 2019 commentary, we identify the reasons to be cautiously optimistic in 2020, and the number of shorter-term risks to be aware of.
At a time when U.S. stocks have continued to outperform, clients and advisors sometimes ask us why we don’t allocate more to U.S. stocks. When we aggregate the three return components of stock returns in our base case, future five-year expected U.S. stock returns are less than one percent, annualized, and this is despite relatively generous margin and sales-growth assumptions.
We visited the offices of Jennison Associates, subadvisor to Harbor Capital Appreciation, and our discussions confirmed the many qualitative positives behind our use of the fund in many of our portfolios. We are confident it will continue to outperform the large-cap growth index and the broader S&P 500. Capacity constraints are not a concern given the strategy invests predominantly in large-cap U.S. stocks. And the fund’s five-year trailing returns have consistently ranked in the top third of its category in recent years.
Listen to a replay of our first quarter 2019 Litman Gregory research call. Topics covered (among others): the equity rebound, conditions in Europe, floating-rate loans, managed futures, and emerging-market bonds. The presentation slides are available below.
Across the board, it was an extremely difficult year to make money in the financial markets, with almost every asset class and financial market down for the year. The contrast with 2017’s strong market results is also striking—and serves as a useful reminder of the unpredictability of markets.