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2018: The Sum of All Fears

Why Volatility is Up and How to Position Portfolios

We want to take this opportunity to characterize the first half of 2018 while outlining how we have repositioned portfolios ahead of new market headwinds. The large profits and minimal volatility that were the hallmarks of 2017 gave way to the first half of 2018 that flipped the script. So why has 2018 been such a stark contrast to 2017?

After all, aren’t there always new political and economic developments and no shortage of reasons to worry? Yes, but so far this year the reasons for periodic selloffs seem to vary from month to month – February’s inflation scare gave way to March’s tariffs, to April’s fear of peak corporate earnings and most recently to May’s debate about the Iran nuclear deal.

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