This was a tough week. The following markets were down: Equities, Bonds, Credit, Gold, Oil, Bitcoin. From the open on Thursday, equities were essentially a straight line down, finishing with a brutal sell-off into the close today, with the defensive sectors taking a particularly notable nosedive after 3:30pm.
Where could your money have found safety?
Well not in the usual places of CHF or JPY, which were also down. Only the Dollar and Consumer Staples managed to eke out small gains on the week, and XLP nearly gave it all back in the last 30 minutes.
We see two possible reasons for the rally in EURCHF (which for those unfamiliar with FX means that CHF weakened relative to EUR). First is the French election seemingly headed to Macron. Second is that some Ukrainians who either fled to Poland or the Lviv region are now returning home, there by limiting the potential refugee crisis. (I can personally vouch for some internally displaced people returning to Kiev.)
The weakness in JPY was part of broader weakness in Asian currencies, which we are inclined to attribute to a Omicron induced slowdown in China. As we noted recently, CNY has been strong since 2020, and China going alone with lockdowns is likely to result in it weakening sharply. (We generally try to tell you about moves before they happen.)
While CNY sold off 2% this week, that didn't catch it up at all to the rest of Asia, and we still see it having potentially 10% further to go.
If everything being down wasn't bad enough, there were some significant technical breaks as well. GOOG for example fell below the pivotal level of 2500 which should now provide resistance.
The first test of the 3% level in the 30y rate was rejected however, and so for now may be expected to provide support.
So how did we do?
Well as you know we are quite bearish so the decline in equities meant a good week for our 60/40 portfolio as well as out SPXU position.
The technical strength in the 30y meant our bond portfolio managed a small gain from being long TLT.
Our sector portfolio should have kept the faith in XLE, but never-the-less gained from being short Utilities.
Lastly, the other trades we did this week were to sell our positions in GS and FUBO shortly after the open on Thursday, which avoided significant losses. GS in particular had a big reversal from where we sold, which was just above the highs from March.
Our sector portfolio, benchmarked to SPY, was up 5bps on selling XLU.
Our 60/40 portfolio gained 32bps from an equity underweight and bond overweight.
Our bond portfolio, benchmarked to AGG, gained 7bps, on a long duration and long USD portfolio.
Current Active Portfolio
YTD vs Benchmark
Annualized since inception
IR since inception
60% ACWI, 40% AGG
-15% ACWI, 10% AGG, 5% Cash
-20% AGG, 3% IGOV, 10% TLT
An archive of our prior weeks is available here.
* Our Bond portfolio has only 5 weeks of history
In David's medium-term portfolio (The Money Game) we made no changes.