As we begin 2018, I thought you might enjoy the 2017 Annual Market Review that we provide to our clients and update quarterly throughout the year. Despite what many in the media forecasted (remember that Buffett said stock market forecasters only exist to make fortune-tellers look good!), 2017 was a year when successful investors once again wisely ignored the dire headlines including North Korean missile threats, investigations of the Presidency, hurricane devastation and a rapidly-growing national deficit to produce one of the smoothest and strongest investment rides in the past century.
As you will note when reading through our 2017 Annual Market Review, 2017 was the year when international stock markets came soaring back after lagging relative to U.S. markets over the last several years. Specifically, the broad Developed International Markets index posted a return of +24%, while the broad Emerging Markets index notched a scorching return of over +37%. Even the international real estate markets convincingly outperformed domestic real estate markets with a showing of +15%. Additionally, our safe, stable bond holdings continued to chug along, providing positive returns while continuing to serve as our “shock absorber,” which will be most needed when global stock markets eventually experience their next normal, albeit unexpected, temporary decline. And, as I continually remind you, such temporary declines are natural events of capital markets and long-term wealth accumulation. What matters most is what we CAN control—our behavior—and not what financial markets do in the near term.
Lastly, at the end of this annual review, I’ve included another article on the topic of Bitcoin and some perspective on how to think of this recent, interesting phenomenon.
CLICK HERE to read 2017 Annual Market Review