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2016 was an eventful and surprising year for investors.  Stocks sold off sharply to begin the year on recession fears, but recovered as economic data improved.  At the end of June British citizens voted to leave the European Union which created short-term volatility in the stock, bond and currency markets.  Then in November Donald Trump unexpectedly won the U.S. presidential election leading to a huge reversal in the stock market overnight.  Despite all the ups and downs, 2016 turned out to be a profitable year for diversified investors. 

It was a record-setting quarter for bonds and stocks.  Shortly after the Brexit vote, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds hit an all-time low of 1.37%.  A few days later the S&P 500 Index reached an all-time high. This is unusual as historically stock and bond markets tend to move in opposite directions.

In the closing days of the second quarter, British citizens surprised the world by voting to leave the European Union.  Stocks fell, safe haven assets such as treasury bonds and gold rose, and the British pound and euro sold off.  After the initial sell-off, global stocks rebounded to finish the quarter slightly higher while bond yields remained near all-time lows.  The first half of the year saw lots of ups and downs but global stocks produced modest gains while bonds were stronger as interest rates plummeted. 

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  • 2016 Presidential Election
  • Europe, Brexit and European Banks
  • 2016 Investment Summit: Brightworth's Investment Process