Portfolio Managers John Husselbee & Paul Kim

2018 was clearly a tougher year for markets than investors have got used to since the global financial crisis and before looking forward, we need to examine why things have played out as they have.

Broadly speaking, last year was the opposite to 2017 – during which equity markets appeared to be in an ongoing race to post fresh highs month after month – and proved a challenging period for active fund management and, indeed, running multi-asset portfolios.

Most asset classes posted negative returns over the last 12 months, after a decade largely in the black, and we saw a rare case of fear and greed joining forces to drive markets. One or the other is typically in the ascendancy, creating the cycle as the mood shifts between them, but while the US saw plenty of greed in 2018, at least until October, fear stalked the rest of the world.

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