Mulvihill x Wealthsimple – February Commentary
Global stock markets continued to rebound in February, continuing to recapturing losses experienced in the back half of 2018. Since the market lows in late December, stocks have seemingly gone straight up, generating the best start to a year since 1987. US Stocks led the advance for the month up 3.2%, slightly outpacing Canadian stocks. Emerging market stocks finished slightly positive at 0.2% . The portfolios remain heavily allocated to stocks, opting to lower the risk exposure within the stock allocation (low volatility) vs trimming the weight to stocks all together. We remain cautious overall and are reluctant to chase performance of a few good months, when much of our analysis continues to point to further volatility ahead.
Fixed income returns were mixed in February with Emerging Market bonds advancing 0.8% while International Developed bonds declined -0.8%. Allocation to fixed income remains as low as possible in the Growth portfolio at 15% and slightly above benchmark, at 40%, in the Balanced portfolio.
The three portfolios (Growth, Moderate and Conservative) recorded positive performance in February. Every ETF with exposure to stocks in the portfolios had a positive return in the month. The best performing holding was US quality stocks (ZUQ) up 5.1% followed by US low volatility up 3.8%. Emerging Market Bonds (ZEF) was the worst performer, down 0.6%. The US dollar appreciated slightly up 0.36% vs Canadian dollar in February, having a minimal impact on performance across the Growth and Moderate portfolio’s for the month.
This document may contain certain forward-looking statements. These statements may relate to future events or future performance and reflect management’s current expectations. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on information currently available to management. Although the forward-looking statements are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Neither the Funds nor their respective managers assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect new events or circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from any forward-looking statement. Historical results and trends should not be taken as indicative of future operations. The Fund is not guaranteed, its value changes frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Unless otherwise indicated and except for returns for period less than one year, the indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns including changes in security value. All performance data take into account distributions or dividends paid to unit holders but do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any security holder that would have reduced returns.