The year is fading fast and your editor is heading south for a short holiday. The usual routine will resume in the new year—Thursday, January 2, 2014, to be precise. But before we close the books on 2013, let’s take one final look in the rear-view mirror and stack up the major asset classes in terms of their year-to-date performance using a set of proxy ETFs that have been rebased to 100 as of Dec. 31, 2012.
As calendar years go, the one that’s currently winding down has been notable for dispensing a wide array of results. At the top (still) is the US stock market, which is up nearly 33% this year, based on the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI). More than 40 percentage points lower is the year’s bottom performer: government bonds in emerging markets by way of the Market Vectors EM Local Currency Bond ETF (EMLC), which has slumped a bit more than 10% this year through Friday’s close. What does it all mean for 2014? The first installment on the answer arrives this Thursday. Meantime, Happy New Year!