This is the worst year to invest in almost 50 years


Ned Davis Research divides markets into eight major asset classes and none shows a performance in excess of 5% this year.

Market statisticians are attacking each other in 2018 to describe the pain felt in all asset classes. A respectable signature expressed this way: things have not been so bad since the presidency of Richard Nixon.

Ned Davis Research divides markets into eight major asset classes, from US and international equities and commodities to commodities. And not a single one is on track to record a return of more than 5 percent this year, a phenomenon last seen in 1972, according to Ed Clissold, a company strategist.

In terms of losses, investors experienced something much worse. But, guided by the variety of assets that do not offer benefits, the year 2018 is starting to look like history.

Nothing works, neither stocks of high or low capitalization in the US, nor international or emerging stocks, nor Treasury bonds, nor investment grade bonds, nor raw materials nor real estate. Most report losses and those that do not report, are doing with profit percentages below 5%.

It is unique in history. Normally, when one sector falls, another increases. In the midst of the financial catastrophe of 2008, Treasury bonds recovered. In 1974, commodities were a bright spot. In 2002, they were the REITs. By 2018, there is no sector to go to. Clissold has a villain: the end of central bank stimulus.

"There has been concern in the markets about how asset prices will deal with the elimination of ultra-flexible monetary policies," said Clissold, chief US strategist at Ned Davis Research, in a note released last week.

During earlier cases of market turmoil, "there was somewhere a bull market."

The Federal Reserve has raised rates eight times since 2015, and policymakers in Europe and Japan are slowly reducing their housing programs. This, coupled with concern about global growth, has undermined investor confidence in all sectors.

This week's optimism over a temporary truce in the US-China trade war proved to be short-lived, such as concerns about brexit, flattening the yield curve and slowing global growth. On Tuesday, the S & P 500 index posted its fifth fall of more than 3% this year.

In total, the S & P 500 index rose 1% in the year and investment grade debt in the US lost 1.6%. Shares of developing nations fell 12%, while the total US Treasury yield index. Long-term Barclays Bloomberg fell 6.4%.


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