January 4, 2019 – The past year has no doubt been challenging for investors in light of the difficulty of assessing political risks, conflicting economic signals, and swift reversals in equity market sentiment. Like many investors, we were caught off guard by the violent market correction in the fourth quarter—a drop of almost 20% between September and December. However, despite continued risks, at this point we think the equity market is set up to deliver stronger returns in 2019.
December 21, 2018 – The UK is scheduled to exit the EU on March 29, 2019. During the two years since the original UK withdrawal notification, businesses have been preparing for two scenarios: either a negotiated transition to a future free trade agreement or a disorderly departure. Until mid-November, given the troublesome issue of the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, it was unclear whether the UK and EU would actually be able to conclude such a Withdrawal Agreement.
December 20, 2018 – The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) hiked the target Fed Funds rate as expected yesterday by 25 basis points from 2.25% to 2.50%. The statement and press conference suggested that the outlook for the U.S. economy was one of decelerating but still solid growth, underscored by labor market tightness. However, it also highlighted, as we expected, that the Fed will likely have to slow its pace of hikes in 2019 and is more uncertain about the path of hikes going forward.