If the Year Ended Today…

It’s only May 25, but if the year ended today…

1) It would be a pretty good one for global equities, with the median country up 15.8%. Out of 45 country ETFs in the table below, 10 are up more than 20%, 31 are up more than 10%, and only 3 are negative.

2) For the first time since 2012, global equities (ACWX) would outperform U.S. stocks (SPY).

3) In a surprise to many, Mexico (EWW) would finish up close to 20% versus a loss of nearly 9% for Russia (ERUS).

4) At 9.99, the Volatility Index (VIX) would end the year lower than 99.9% of historical readings.

5) At 7.1%, the annualized volatility in the S&P 500 would be the 3rd lowest on record.

6) At 4, the number of daily moves in the S&P 500 of 1% or more would be the fewest in history outside of 1964.

7) Those who went long volatility (VXX) in the hopes of catching the next black swan would get crushed again.

8) The S&P 500 (SPY), Dow (DIA), and Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) would be positive for the 9th consecutive year.

9) The 9 straight years of gains in the S&P 500 would tie the record from 1991-1999.

10) The Maximum Drawdown on a closing basis of 2.8% in the S&P 500 would be the lowest since 1995.

11) 9 out of 10 sectors would finish positive, with Technology (XLK) leading the way, finally surpassing its prior peak from back in March 2000.

Yes indeed – if the year ended today it would be a pretty good one for global equity investors.

Will it look better or worse on December 31st? I have no idea. But it will look different.

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This writing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell, a solicitation to buy, or a recommendation regarding any securities transaction, or as an offer to provide advisory or other services by Pension Partners, LLC in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. The information contained in this writing should not be construed as financial or investment advice on any subject matter. Pension Partners, LLC expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken based on any or all of the information on this writing.


Charlie Bilello is the Director of Research at Pension Partners, LLC, an investment advisor that manages mutual funds and separate accounts.  He is the co-author of four award-winning research papers on market anomalies and investing. Mr. Bilello is responsible for strategy development, investment research and communicating the firm’s investment themes and portfolio positioning to clients. Prior to joining Pension Partners, he was the Managing Member of Momentum Global Advisors and previously held positions as a Credit, Equity and Hedge Fund Analyst at billion dollar alternative investment firms.

Mr. Bilello holds a J.D. and M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Fordham University and a B.A. in Economics from Binghamton University. He is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and a Member of the Market Technicians Association. Mr. Bilello also holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate.

You can follow Charlie on twitter here.

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