The third quarter was positive for stocks and alternative investments and neutral for bonds, leaving most portfolios near their highest point of the year at the end of Q3. The start of the fourth quarter has trimmed these gains, however.
Of the major sectors, US growth stocks performed best. By contrast, international stocks were largely negative for the quarter and the YTD period. After two negative quarters, US bonds were flat in Q3 and were down for the YTD period. International bonds performed better than US bonds, managing small gains for the quarter and the YTD period.
Alternative investments expand the opportunity set of our portfolios. On average, the alternative funds in our model portfolios were up about 2.6% for the YTD period – with most of these gains attributable to the third quarter. The first six months were relatively unchanged for this segment.
Looking ahead, markets will need to factor in higher interest rates and strong corporate earnings. The stock market pullback of early October seems to have been caused by short-term jitters and increased interest rates, rather than any deeper fundamental issues.