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05 January 2018 2017: The Year of the Lemming

"Failing conventionally is the route to go; as a group, lemmings may have a rotten image, but no individual lemming has ever received bad press". Warren Buffett

How have Private Client Portfolios performed in 2017?

In short, the answer is that 2017 has been a positive year for most private client investors regardless of reference currency and risk appetite. Investors with multi-asset class portfolios have seen their real wealth grow and all the PCI indices ended 2017 at all-time highs (Dec 03 = 100) or within a hair’s breadth of an all-time high. 

  • Sterling reference currency portfolios generally experienced solid gains, ranging from 4.4% for cautious portfolios to 12.2% for equity-risk oriented portfolios;
  • Weakness in the US Dollar and relative out-performance by a few US technology stocks translated into US Dollar denominated portfolios recording higher gains than portfolios with other reference currencies, with double digit returns commonplace;
  • Conversely Euro and Canadian Dollar portfolios experienced more muted gains in local currency terms due to relative currency strength and, to a lesser extent, a domestic bias in portfolio construction; and
  • Swiss Franc denominated portfolios occupied the middle ground but investors still enjoyed solid real returns.

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