Capital Commentary is a quarterly view of the equities, fixed income and hedge fund markets from our Family Management specialists.
Hedge funds continued to generate positive returns during the third quarter as the HFRI Fund-of-Funds Composite Index rose 0.4%. Specifically, ‘Relative Value’ and ‘Equity Hedged’ strategies were among the best performers, with the HFRI Relative Value Index and HFRI Equity Hedged Index increasing 1.5% and 0.7%, respectively, during the third quarter. While the Alternative sector posted a net positive return for the
Economically, things continued to improve in the US. Private payrolls averaged a gain of over 200,000 new jobs per month in the third quarter with the unemployment rate falling to 3.7% in September, the lowest level in more than thirty years. The gains in the stock and housing markets have fed into consumer confidence, as the conference board survey hit its highest level since late 2000. Fed policy continued to normalize in the third quarter with the Fed hiking overnight rates by 0.25% to 2.25%. Federal Reserve committee members have commented on the strength of the labor markets, the uptick in wage growth,
Equities stormed ahead in the third quarter of 2018 with the S&P advancing 7.7% on a total return basis. The healthcare sector led the way advancing 14.5%, information technology rose 8.8%, and each of the other sectors also posted positive returns. Indeed, the broad-based US equity advance was in stark contrast