David Blumenthal Six Park by David Blumenthal

January was a relatively benign month for investors, especially compared to the market volatility seen in recent weeks.  The Six Park portfolios were flat to slightly down in January (-0.4% to +0.2%), with gains in international shares and emerging markets offset by declines across other sectors. On a rolling 12-month basis, the portfolios were up +3.7% to +13.4%, with our higher risk portfolios benefiting most from strong advances across equity markets.

1 mth -0.3% -0.4% -0.1% 0.0 0.2%
3 mth 0.3% 0.7% 1.6% 2.0% 2.4%
1 year 3.7% 6.0% 9.4% 11.8% 13.4%

(1) Past performance is not indicative of future performance.
(2) All figures are illustrative in nature based on notional $50,000 portfolios which are assumed to have been fully invested at the start of the relevant period. Your actual investment performance may vary depending on factors such as the timing of your investment with us.
(3) All figures are pre-tax and are post Six Park’s fees and applicable ETF fees. The results are calculated using monthly closing prices for each ETF, not NAV. They assume dividend reinvestment (at the end of each month) but do not include dividend imputation. No cash holdings or annual rebalances are assumed.


It was a month of mixed performances at the asset class level, with emerging markets and international equities posting strong gains, Australian shares, fixed income and cash yield sectors registering flat to modest declines and global property and infrastructure declining sharply.

Emerging markets had a particularly buoyant start to the year, with continued strength in global trading conditions underpinning a +4.9% gain for the month. Chinese markets were boosted by better-than-expected GDP figures while Russian equities gained on a rally in oil prices. Brazilian shares also rose 11% as political tensions eased following an appeals court decision to uphold former President Lula’s corruption conviction (thus ruling him ineligible for the country’s upcoming elections).

International shares added +1.8% in January.  Markets across the US, Eurozone and Asia all registered solid gains, aided by resilient macroeconomic data and strong corporate profits.  These advances were partly offset by a rise in the Australian dollar, which gained +3.5% against the US dollar during the month.

Cash yield and fixed income markets were broadly flat, with the RBA electing to keep cash rates unchanged for the 16th consecutive month.

The Australian sharemarket bucked global trends, declining -0.4% for the month.  Utilities and real estate were the worst performers, falling -4.5% and -3.3% respectively. The lacklustre Australian launch of Amazon helped push local retail stocks up +5%.

Global infrastructure fell -2.1% for the month.  Key drivers behind this decline were falls across US utilities (which are set to lose tax and depreciation benefits under President Trump’s tax reforms) and UK energy stocks (which fell on regulatory changes affecting the country’s electrical grid).

The global property segment declined -5.4% for the month. This result reflected a combination of currency headwinds (from the rising $A), poor performances across retail and healthcare stocks (particularly in the US) and growing expectations of a lift in global interest rates (which would have a negative impact on real estate valuations).

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Published January 31, 2018