Financial Industry Insights from Advisors Asset Management


Instability to Give Way to Renewed Confidence?

Through the end of June, markets have posted lackluster returns, with the S&P gaining 2.6% YTD (year to date) and the ACWI ex-US declining (-3.8%). The dollar appreciated during the first half, so results for the ACWI ex-US in local currencies were better than the loss posted in dollars. We think the market is wrestling with a number of cross currents that probably leave it posting lackluster returns until we get some clarity of how the current challenges facing it will be addressed. Those challenges include:

  • Trade Tariff worries

  • Central Banks tightening

  • Softer H1 (1st half of the year) economic growth

  • Geopolitics (Iran, North Korea)

Against these concerns, we believe there are opportunities forming as markets have not kept pace with the improvement in underlying fundamentals.

  • We believe the disbelief investors are showing in the sustainability of U.S. growth will give way to renewed confidence in growth as the year goes on.

  • Concerns that have emerged as the United States acts like "A Bull in a China Shop" with tariffs will probably fade, in our opinion, as the approach leads to some negotiated settlements.

  • Economic and earnings growth remains firm worldwide.

  • The United States should have stimulative policies coming. China is pursuing stimulus as well.

As markets become more comfortable that economic growth is sustainable, they are likely to start acting better later on this year. The case for international investing remains strong, in our opinion, and we think investors should consider increasing their allocations to those markets.


CRN: 2018-0725-6784 R

This commentary is for informational purposes only. All investments are subject to risk and past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please see the Disclosures webpage for additional risk information at commentary-disclosures. For additional commentary or financial resources, please visit



awarded Top 100 Wealth Management Blog

Author Image

Ask the Author

AAM wants to hear from you. Complete the form below to email the author with any questions or comments you may have. We understand that every firm handles interactive communications differently and will not post any feedback we receive without your consent.