Red ink flowed like wine for most major asset classes in January, with a few notable exceptions based on a set of ETFs.
Commodities were the outlier on the upside last month, providing substantial downside ballast to prices elsewhere for most global markets. The WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund (GCC) rose 5.0% in January.
Emerging market stocks (VWO) and bonds (EMLC) also avoided January selloffs with modest gains for the month: 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.
Otherwise, the markets fell far. Biggest monthly loss for major asset classes: US real estate investment trusts (REITs) through Vanguard US Real Estate (VNQ), which fell 8.4% in January, reversing most of their strong rise of the previous month.
The latest declines have infected year-over-year results: roughly half of the major asset classes have now been underwater for 12 months.
The Global Market Index (GMI) was also caught in the selloff. This unmanaged benchmark (maintained by CapitalSpectator.com), which holds all major asset classes (except cash) by market value weightings, lost 4.6% last month – a sharp reversal after setting a record in December.
Looking at GMI’s performance against US stocks and bonds over the past year continues to reflect strong average performance for this multi-asset class benchmark (blue line in chart below) . US stocks (VTI) gained nearly 17% for the one-year window. In contrast, a large measure of US bonds – Vanguard Total US Bond Market (BND) – fell 3.1%. GMI gained 8.1% for the year ended Jan. 31.
Editor’s note: The summary bullet points for this article were chosen by the Seeking Alpha editors.