Stocks in the United States posted low single-digit returns in the first quarter as markets began to absorb the end of quantitative easing (QE) and the prospect of rising rates. International equities were boosted as the European Central Bank embarked upon their own version of QE, but returns were stymied by continued weakness in the euro vs. the U.S. dollar. Core domestic fixed income posted modest gains. Although attractive return opportunities in fixed income are not as numerous as they had been in recent years, small pockets of potential remain.
The U.S. dollar strengthened in the fourth quarter of 2014—as well as for the year—placing downward pressure on U.S. investors’ international holdings. This combined with the price of oil collapsing and the relative strength of the U.S. stock market has prompted some investors to question whether the widely held belief that portfolios should be broadly diversified in order to maximize the probability of achieving long-term performance goals should still be applied.
Author: Christian S. Busken
During the real assets session of the 2014 FEG Investment Forum titled, “After the Recovery: The Road Ahead for Real Estate Investing,” a panel of topic experts depicted a market with opportunities for the careful investor. Speakers discussed the current state of the real estate markets, the factors driving the recovery over the past four years, and insights into opportunities in real estate going forward. The audience learned key metrics to consider before investing, risky areas, and other hot topics.