Major Asset Classes | January 2024 | Performance Review

Global markets were mixed in January following a strong finish in 2023 that lifted nearly all corners. Commodities bounced back last month, leading the major asset classes, while property shares led the losers, based on a set of ETFs.

The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG) was the top performer in 2024’s opening month. The fund’s 4.4% gain in January marks the first monthly advance since September.

US stocks (VTI), cash (SHV), inflation-indexed US Treasuries (TIP) and US junk bonds (JNK) also posted gains in January. The rest of the field retreated in the new year’s opening month.

The deepest loss in January: US property shares. Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ) fell 5.1% in January, its first monthly setback since October.

The Global Market Index (GMI) rose for a third straight month in January, edging up 0.1%. GMI is an unmanaged benchmark (maintained by that holds all the major asset classes (except cash) in market-value weights via ETFs and represents a competitive benchmark for multi-asset-class portfolios.

GMI’s one-year performance remains strong at 13.1%, thanks in part to the strong rally in US stocks (VTI). Meanwhile, the US bond market (BND) has been rebounding lately, but the recovery has been sluggish over the trailing 12-month window.

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By James Picerno

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