Quarter 3 saw a little less trauma in global markets compared with Q1 and Q2 this year, although no letup in the relentlessly negative newsflow and bonkers politics. Investors were noticeably more nervous this quarter which is perhaps the new normal as we get used to the 24-hour news cycle being pumped into our phones. Apple may have acted as a huge wealth distributor over the last decade by taking money from everyone and giving it back to the minority who own investment portfolios in the world via their share price but they seem to have a had a much more democratic effect on everyone’s mental health. We are conscious that we are only adding to this by publishing quarterly updates and discourage our clients from reading them.
In Quarter 3, politics still reigned supreme with Trump’s trade policies contributing to a healthy*1 positive return on the S&P500 and by extension global equities. The Purchasing Manager’s Index is not showing signs of a retraction but as he ramps up a trade war with just about everyone, this may change. Forecasts about Trump and the US right now are pointless given his uncanny ability to hit new levels of absurd. Witness this mangling of the English language and you start to understand some of people’s gnawing paranoia.
Concerns over the UK’s impending Brexit further boosting these returns to a Sterling investor and contributed to a loss for the quarter on the FTSE100 and FTSE Allshare. The closer that we get to the October and March deadlines the more potential there is for the UK markets to completely lose it, as they realise that the EU are serious about the Irish Border question and we have no answer to it.
*1 We use ‘Healthy’ here to describe a quarterly rise of nearly 8% so healthy in the same way that a Deep Fried Twinkie Coke Float is healthy for you.