The World’s Capital Markets Weren’t Listening

The following article has been republished with permission. We’ve attached the full PDF at the bottom for your personal use.

Judging by the headlines in the financial press, investors spent much of the past year anxiously awaiting one calamity after another that failed to occur. The plunge off the so-called fiscal cliff was averted. The euro zone did not fall apart. China’s economy and stock market did not crash. The bond market did not implode. The re-election of President Barack Obama did not derail the US market. The “flash glitch” in early August did not lead to further trading disruptions. Doomsday did not arrive on December 21, as some interpreters of the Mayan calendar suggested it would.

Instead, the belief that owning a share of the world’s businesses is a sensible idea appears to be alive and well, despite suggestions from some observers that the “cult of equity” is dead. For the year, total return was 16.42% for the MSCI World Index in local currency, and 16.00% for the S&P 500 Index. Among forty-five global stock markets tracked by MSCI, only three posted negative results in local currency (Chile, Israel, and Morocco), and twelve markets had total returns in excess of 25%, with Turkey leading the pack at 55.8%. Although much of the financial news over the past year highlighted Europe’s fragile financial health, most of the region’s equity markets outperformed the US, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. For US dollar-based investors, results were further enhanced by a modest decline in the US dollar relative to the euro, the Danish krone, and the Swiss franc.

As is so often the case, earning the rewards offered by the world’s capital markets may have required a combination of discipline and detachment that eluded many investors.

2012 The Year It Didn't Happen

Full PDF2012-The Year It Didn’t Happen
Republished: 2012: The Year It Didn’t Happen
Source: Dimensional Fund Advisors

 

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Weston Wellington
Weston Wellington

Vice President | Dimensional Fund Advisors

Weston Wellington is a Vice President for Dimensional Fund Advisors, based in Austin, TX. With more than three decades of experience in the investment industry, Weston works closely with financial advisors in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America to explain the principles of a science-based, empirical investment philosophy, and how it can help investors both accumulate and preserve wealth.

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The World’s Capital Markets Weren’t Listening

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