Content provided by Matt Santini, CLS Portfolio Manager
The Waters and Gilmour masterpiece has a very well-known lyric about a fleeting glimpse. What many people don’t know is that song, Comfortably Numb, had the working title during production of “The Doctor.” Sometimes you need a doctor to distinguish for you the difference between a cold and pneumonia. Is the market’s latest sell off just a fleeting glimpse soon to pass, or is it the makings of a much needed correction? Regardless, certain assets are acting according to plan, and, unless you are well diversified….. you would never know. Maybe 2014 is the year of the asset allocation model.
So, what is winning? Everyone’s least favorite asset class: Bonds. What is struggling? Japan. Imagine that, 2013’s best and worst performing asset classes have switched places. The nerve!
When I look at my various portfolios, factor ETF’s are proving their worth thus far again. Equal weight is outperforming cap weight and alternative ETFs are saying “no” to volatility. Much has been said about international volatility and the emerging contagion, but some of our friend’s across the pond are continuing to shine. The small-cap European ETF, DFE, is down a paltry 1.90 percent YTD.
Last year, on a risk adjusted basis, the healthcare sector was my best position. If I were to annualize 2014 thus far, that would be the case again. Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices continue to deliver alpha and that trend should continue as more and more people have access to healthcare.
We would be naïve to think market’s only go up. In fact, many diversified portfolio managers (myself included), would welcome a natural correction. Who doesn’t like their favorite items to go on sale?