Crikey, the days are flying by already, eh?! Here we are, January’s nearly over & a FY-2014 performance review would look a bit silly in February… So let’s bang this one out: So, how did the Wexboy Portfolio perform for FY-2014? [For reference, here’s my mid-year review]. First, let’s take a peek at my usual benchmark:
Maybe this is hindsight talking, but looking at these index returns, they (nearly all) make perfect sense to me now! But duh, isn’t that true most of the time!? That is, assuming you accept momentum generally trumps value in the market…
The Irish market enjoyed the highest return, as it continues to accelerate slowly but surely out of an unprecedented recession. Of course, the recession was inevitable, but was unfortunately compounded by the foolishness of the banks & then the government itself. However, the scale & trajectory of the burgeoning recovery (now & to come) is well-deserved. Ireland may have waved goodbye to currency flexibility, but it’s one of the very few countries that still proved willing & able to take the public & private pain of radical fiscal & competitiveness adjustment, and now it’s starting to pay off in spades… [Right now, Beardy Krugman must be wishing Ireland was wiped off the map!]
The US market wasn’t far behind, though for entirely different reasons. Being the epicentre of a global financial crisis proved an excellent strategy…ideally, you end up being rewarded as the first country to subsequently escape recession! But it seems blindingly obvious the US recovery (& accompanying market rally) wouldn’t exist without the GUBU fiscal & monetary debasement we’ve witnessed. Which presents a dilemma for investors: Do you abstain, on the basis it promises an even more catastrophic disaster to come (as we’ve regularly seen since the late ’90s, as a direct consequence of the Fed’s actions & inaction)? Or do you believe the Krugmanesque fairy tale of a free lunch – government stimulus & QE really can deliver sustainable economic recovery at no perceived cost? [Hmmm, maybe a dine & dash strategy does offer a free lunch…well, ’til you’re caught!] The answer, I suppose, is the usual one:
Don’t fight the Fed!