Major Asset Classes: March 2022 Performance Analysis

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Commodities continued to dominate monthly returns for major asset classes in March. The leadership marks the third month in a row that commodities have outperformed the rest of the field by a wide margin, based on a set ETFs by proxy.

The WisdomTree Enhanced Commodity Strategy Fund (GCC), a broad commodity metric, rose 7.5% last month. Year-to-date, GCC is up 21.3%, marking a major outlier upside performance so far this year for major asset classes.

A strong second place in March: US real estate investment trusts (REITs), which rebounded from a weak start to the year. Vanguard US Real Estate (VNQ) jumped 6.3%, the first monthly gain for the ETF in 2022.

US stocks also posted a solid gain in March via Vanguard Total US Stock Market (VTI), which climbed 3.3% for the month just ended.

Overall, most major asset classes lost ground – again – last month. Biggest loser: foreign government bonds in developed markets. SPDR Bloomberg Barclays International Treasury Bond ETF (BWX) fell 4.2% in March.

Main asset classes

The Global Market Index (GMI) rebounded in March. This unmanaged benchmark (maintained by CapitalSpectator.com), which holds all major asset classes (except cash) in market value weightings, rose 1.1% – the first monthly gain of This year.

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 just over 10% for the one-year window. In contrast, a large measure of US bonds – Vanguard Total US Bond Market (BND) – fell 4.4%. GMI gained 3.3% for the year ended March 31.

Main asset classes

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Editor’s note: The summary bullet points for this article were chosen by the Seeking Alpha editors.

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