MRB TradeBook Track Record: 2018 Review



 

MRB has a strong track record of making accurate, non-consensus calls, and providing clients with a clear road map to help them set their investment strategy. We find our use of flexible, but rigorous frameworks, our integrated global and multi-asset approach, and our formation of one cohesive viewpoint leads to a deeper and more holistic understanding of the forces at work in the global economy and financial markets. The result is stronger conviction, bolder calls, and more accurate investment strategy.

MRB provides one house view. There is nothing vague about our recommendations, and we are not shy to hold ourselves accountable.

 

Our investment recommendations proved timely during 2018, leading to significant outperformance of a global multi-asset benchmark portfolio. The major highlights included:

  • Heading into 2018 we warned that U.S. inflation would reappear and catch fixed-income investors wrongfooted. The outcome would be the bond bear market working its way further out the yield curve, with the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield punching through its 2017 highs and rising sharply to 3% before consolidating. In November we cautioned that technical conditions and macro forces point to a near-term decline in yields.
  • We pared back equity exposure near the January 2018 peak on expectation that the sharp rise in bond yields and increasing protectionist rhetoric would leading to a correction/consolidation phase after the previous strong bull run. Our recommendation for a mix of cyclical and defensive sectors also proved correct.
  • A winning theme for the year was that implied equity volatility would spike. This recommendation is symbolic of a broader theme that the dynamics between equities and bonds changed materially this year.
  • In terms of commodities, we benefited from shorting gold earlier in the year and by leaning against the bullish consensus on crude oil in late-2018 by remaining underweight/short related asset markets.
  • Finally, our work on “weak-link” economies or so-called “canaries” to the next global recession is already panning out in a series of profitable equity, currency and fixed-income recommendations.

Please let us know if you would like a list of our latest investment recommendations.