July 2017 Performance
US stocks reached record highs in July whilst the US Dollar Index continued to depreciate, down -2.89%, its lowest level in almost fifteen months. Disorganised chaos in Washington with fading prospects for either tax or healthcare reform, and a more dovish Federal Reserve have conspired to drive the US Dollar lower. Meanwhile, better than expected Eurozone growth and an increasingly hawkish European Central Bank helped drive the Euro higher, breaking above $1.18 for the first time since 2015. The weaker US Dollar has been a boon to US corporate earnings, particularly those earning profits abroad. 57% of companies listed on the S&P 500 have now reported second quarter earnings with 73% beating expectations. Positive earnings sent the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq up 1.93%, 2.54% and 4.13%, each registering new record highs. In Europe, stocks drifted lower on rising concern over Euro strength whilst in the UK, the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 rose 0.81% and 2.28% respectively. In her bi-annual testimony to Congress on July 12th, Fed Chair Janet Yellen raised concerns over subdued inflation. Financial markets interpreted this as a sign the Fed may be wavering on the future timing of interest rate hikes, sending US Treasury yields marginally lower. It was a similar story in the UK where a fall in inflation, from 2.9% to 2.6%, led to a small decline in bond yields. Five and ten-year Gilt yields fell -11bps and -3bps respectively, with the market now pricing in less than a 10% chance of a 25bps hike at the Bank of England’s meeting on 3rd August. Commodity markets were higher, led by WTI Oil, which rose 8.97% to $50.17 per barrel. The broader GSCI was up 4.48% and Gold rose 2.24%.Bond market gyrations, technology sector volatility and investor rotation within and between asset classes is now well underway. Portfolio diversification remains vital, especially on a currency hedged basis.
ACUMEN Bond Portfolio
The ACUMEN Bond Portfolio returned 0.22% in July. The Market Composite Benchmark and the IA’s Global Bond sector returned 0.22% and 0.68% respectively.
ACUMEN Conservative Portfolio
The ACUMEN Conservative Portfolio returned 0.69% in July. The Market Composite Benchmark and the IA Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares sector returned 0.67% and 0.54% respectively. The portfolio has a rolling 1-year return of 5.64%.
ACUMEN Income Portfolio
The ACUMEN Income Portfolio returned 0.68% in July. The Market Composite Benchmark and the IA Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares sector returned 0.78% and 0.54% respectively. The portfolio has a rolling 1-year return of 7.26%.
ACUMEN Progressive Portfolio
The ACUMEN Progressive Portfolio returned 0.97% in July. The Market Composite Benchmark and the IA Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares sector returned 0.99% and 0.84% respectively. The portfolio has a rolling 1-year return of 10.37%.
ACUMEN Adventurous Portfolio
The ACUMEN Adventurous Portfolio returned 1.05% in July. The Market Composite Benchmark and the IA Flexible Investment sector returned 1.10% and 1.07% respectively. The portfolio has a rolling 1-year return of 10.84%.
ACUMEN Equity Portfolio
The ACUMEN Equity Portfolio returned 1.09% in July. The Market Composite Benchmark and the IA Global sector returned 1.30% and 1.45% respectively.
ACUMEN Strategic Portfolio
The ACUMEN Strategic Portfolio returned 1.47% in July. The Market Composite Benchmark and the IA Global sector returned 1.30% and 2.19% respectively.
The value of an investment in the Protection Portfolios, ACUMEN Portfolios or Tavistock PROFILES may fall as well as rise. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future performance. Source of data: Tavistock Asset Management Limited, Thomson Reuters and Lipper for Investment Management unless otherwise stated.