Misleading Markets

While the Dow and S&P 500 have done fairly well this year and have held up decently so far this quarter, other asset classes that aren’t in the headlines, but are part of a well-diversified portfolio, have fared far worse. Some classes, like Commodities and Microcap Stocks have even fallen enough to be considered in a “correction” by its classical definition (10% down from highs). The table below shows (through 9/22) year-to-date and quarter-to-date returns for a select group of ETFs that represent major asset classes, along with their decline from their high over the last 52 weeks.

There’s no way to know whether this divergence in returns is predictive of poor returns to come, or if a reversion to the mean is more likely which would have underperforming asset classes begin to outperform. I just wanted to quickly point out that while the perception is that the market is at all-time-highs, this is really only true if you’re looking at US Large Cap Stocks in isolation.