A Look Back at 2016 Asset Class Returns
The Veater Financial Table of Investment Returns ranks the annual performance of key asset classes over each of the last 20 years. The best asset class for a given year is listed at the top, with the lowest returning asset class listed at the bottom. As we look back on 2016, here are a few key takeaways:
- 2016 was a rebound year. The best asset class for the year (the Russell 2000) returned +21.31%. Last year, the best asset class (the S&P 500) was up just +1.38%.
- The election buoyed up the US stock market, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses. The Russell 2000 index, which tracks small- and medium-sized businesses that are US-based, experienced the strongest post-election rally.
- This year serves as a great lesson on staying the course. 2015 was a rough year, and the start of 2016 was one of the worst on record. It would have been easy to pull out of the market in that moment of vulnerability. But it would have been a disastrous choice, as the market rally more than recovered earlier losses and rewarded investors who had the patience and perspective to stay invested.
One of the key conclusions that we draw when looking at how the stock and bond markets perform over time is the importance of diversifying one’s investment assets. No asset class stays at the top. There is a constant rotation in what is performing well during any given year. And we believe that the most prudent and likely way to generate desirable risk-adjusted returns is to maintain diversification across asset classes. Note that the chocolate box you see on this chart represents a “Moderate Growth” style of investing. It diversifies across the various asset classes listed and historically can create a more consistent return.
"Moderate Growth" is a hypothetical portfolio for illustrative purposes, and is not representative of any investment, account, or portfolio offered by Veater Financial Group.
Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.
High yield/junk bonds (grade BB or below) are not investment grade securities, and are subject to higher interest rate, credit, and liquidity risks than those graded BBB and above. They generally should be part of a diversified portfolio for sophisticated investors.
International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
No strategy, including asset allocation, assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Strategies and investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.