Logical Investment Outlook - April 2016

Market comment:

March has been a very busy month for central bankers. Nine of them moved to further cut interest rates. Negative interest rate policy (NIRP) is now a reality in Japan, the E.U., Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. This month the ECB expanded its asset purchase program to include non-financial corporate bonds. In the U.S, NIPR is becoming a very likely policy choice. Whether it will be implemented and whether it will be a positive for the real economy needs to be seen. What is more certain is that central banks have yet again showed commitment to a low rate environment and their full support to asset price growth. This is positive for our strategies that can select from a varied universe of asset classes, including gold, domestic and foreign bonds.

Almost all our strategies are outperforming the S&P 500, for the year. Best performers have been the Maximum Yield strategy with +17%, the leveraged Universal strategy with +14% and our new Gold-USD strategy with a +6.7% return. Our more conservative and stable UIS strategy returned 5.6%.

SPY, the S&P 500 ETF, has returned 0.81%, year-to-date.

Looking at the markets, it seems that a shift has occurred from 2015. As we mentioned in the March investment outlook, cross-asset correlations have returned to normal levels. In other words, Treasuries and Gold are working again as both portfolio diversifiers and as hedges to protect from pure equity risk. On top of that these assets performed well. Gold in particular returned +15% year-to-date. Other assets classes are also showing strength. Our countries selection algorithm (World-Top-4 strategy) returned 8% just for March.

Our All-Strategies subscribers will notice that the shift in the markets is reflected in our algos. Our bond strategy (+5.95% YTD) has shifted to include non-U.S. based bonds (PCY) for a few months now. The bug strategies are suddenly picking up pace, allocating to GLD as well as TIPs. The leveraged version of the strategy is moving from below 40% invested in January to 160% invested for this April. Our World-Top-4 strategy is starting to allocate to previous under-performers like the Peruvian ETF (EPU). 

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