Portfolio Commentary – First Quarter 2014

The New Year has welcomed volatility back with many world markets seeing a sell off to start the year, and then a subsequent reversal back to new highs. Russia has suffered the largest losses due to the Ukrainian political crisis, while Italy has enjoyed the largest gains YTD due to the positive reforms Premier Matteo Renzi (appointed in February 2014) has initiated. Commodities have taken some of the spotlight from equities this quarter, especially in soft commodities. Crop damage from unexpected weather events in Brazil has positively affected coffee and sugar prices, while corn prices in the U.S. increased due to reduced plantings in favor of soybeans. In fixed income, Treasury yields remain range bound as the Fed has embarked upon tapering, however, we expect yields to continue to normalize and move over 3% by year end…

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