Last year was a difficult one for investors. The UK stock market felt the heat of the Brexit burn as politicians failed to agree on a strategy to exit the European Union.
What a stinker 2018 proved to be. After making a number of record highs during the first half of the year, stocks turned tail late summer and conspired to deliver the fourth quarter from hell. The new calendar year has started brightly for interactive investor's pair of winter portfolios, but that won't be reflected in December's ghastly figures.
Every investor dreams of discovering a strategy able to deliver outperformance and a decent profit every time. We're no different, which is why four years ago a statistical anomaly backed by decades of data piqued our interest.
The UK equity market lagged international stock markets in the first half of 2018, and it was the same story in the third quarter, with the FTSE All-Share index posting a loss of 0.8 per cent. In contrast, the FTSE World index returned 6.2 per cent in sterling terms.
While the underperformance of UK equities may whet the appetite of more contrarian-minded investors, as far as our model portfolios are concerned, it was a big factor behind eight of the 12 falling short of their relevant FTSE UK Private Investor index benchmark in the three months to 1 October.
Markets shook off a rocky start to 2018 to return to form during the second quarter – and propel the Money Observer model portfolios firmly back into the black.
All 12 of our portfolios beat the relevant FTSE UK Private Investor index benchmark during the three months to the end of June – some by as much as 3.5 per cent. That saw them recoup losses incurred during the volatility that pervaded investment markets in the first quarter of the year – and then some.
The first quarter of 2018 proved a timely reminder that global markets can fall quicker than they rise, but our model portfolios have weathered the storm well.