Q1 2021 Investment Perspectives

April 15, 2021

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The summary below has been created by a professional transcription vendor upon review of the recorded presentation. Please excuse any typos as well as portions noted to be inaudible.

Hello everyone. I’m George Padula, Chief Investment Officer, Modera Wealth Management. I’d like to thank you for joining us for our investment perspectives for the end of the quarter, March 31. This really is about perspectives. And what I’m going to show you are some slides showing shorter term perspectives, economic perspectives, longer-term perspectives, and then we’re really trying to drive it home with how we think about what our investment philosophy and perspectives are. The first thing I’m going to show you is our New York FED indicators index, which is one of my favorite slides and charts. And it really is showing how the economy has rebounded dramatically since the lows of March last year. The index is actually higher than it was at its last peak in September 2018. Again, coming out of those lows, slow and steady progress, and most recently a pretty strong improvement in the economy.

The next slide is about shorter-term index returns and where have we heard this song before? When we look at the one year return ending March 31, dramatic returns, 95% for small caps, emerging markets of 59%, U.S. stocks, large caps of 56. When we look at real estate even, people were looking at real estate and wondering what’s going to happen with that. Up 37%. Have we seen rebounds like that before coming out of market lows? Well, we actually have. Looking to the far right, you can see the lows of the tech bubble and the next following year. And then the next one is the financial crisis from February of 2009 to February of 2010. Again, you can see dramatic increases in markets. And we see that. In 2001, what led the way? Emerging markets, U.S. small caps, real estate up 27%. In the financial crisis, emerging markets again, coming out of that trough 92% for one year return. Real estate up 85%. U.S. large stocks 54. Small caps. We’ve heard this song before. And so that one year that we’ve just experienced really is what we see coming out of market troughs or economic troughs.

But let’s look longer term. That investment perspective for longer term is really important. And so what I did was I took the last 20 years and I broke it up into two 10 year chunks, 2001 to 2011, 2011 to ’21. And what’s really dramatic, as you can see where I’ve highlighted in the 2001 to 2011 time period, U.S. Treasury has actually outperformed the S&P 500. Treasury’s are up 5.2%. S&P 500 up 3.1. The leading return for that 10 year time period, emerging markets, real estate did quite well.

Let’s flip forward to the last 10 years, what’s led the way? U.S. growth up 16%. Large cap stocks up 14. Small cap stocks trailed a little bit, but still up nearly 12 at 11.7. Bonds were a little bit less, more into their historical numbers. But let’s look at the 20 years, right? The 20 years what’s led the way? Emerging markets, real estate. Real estate in fact did better over the last 20 years ending March 31 of this year than the S&P 500. So we can’t think about investing through that rear view mirror. We have to think about what’s moving forward. Some of the things that we’re aware of and that are headlines out there, things like inflation, things like rising interest rates, things like the fiscal stimulus package that’s coming up, people are worried about tax rates.

Those are headline issues. There’s no question that those need to be considered, but when we look over the last 10 and 20 year periods and multiple year periods, the fundamental perspectives really have to be about sound fundamental investment principles. And those are recognizing that short-term periods can be difficult. You need to have an approach that uses a disciplined approach, a sound approach, and evidence-based metrics. Diversify, rebalance, make sure your investment plan meets your needs and your goals and your risk tolerance. And really maintain that perspective.

With everything we’ve gone through this year with health crises, with economic crises, worries about our family, worries about our friends, colleagues, and coworkers, we really need to keep that perspective and maintain that perspective. I want to thank you very much for listening today. Feel free to reach out to me, reach out to your wealth manager advisor if you have any questions. We’re always here and available to help. Thank you very much.