December 2014 Stock Market Summary
How did that markets do in December? The trend we have seen develop over the last half of the year continued with US Markets climbing up and international markets moving down. This month the best performers were US small cap stocks with core returning 1.31% and value returning 1.26%. The worst performer this month was emerging markets down 4.63%. International large core and large value were not far behind down, 3.98% and 3.88% respectively.
How did the markets do over the entire year? It was very similar to the month of December - overall US stocks were up and International Stocks were down. The best performing stock category in 2014 was US Large Cap Core up 11.16% followed closely by US Large Value, up 9% and then US Small and US Small Value, up 6.02% and 7.14% respectively. None of the international markets finished in positive territory for the year but the "least worst" was Emerging Markets which finished down 4.63%. The worst was International Large Cap Value down 9.37%. Short term bonds were surprisingly up approx. 1.57% over the year despite all the negative talk about interest rates and the bond bubble.
This year the theme was diversification. International stocks started strong and ended up being the worst performers of the year and US markets, while volatile, had a slow steady climb to a decent year. What do you think about the markets in 2014 Jim?
"Well it's been a great year. Stocks did exactly what they are supposed to do - go up and down. With that in mind, the focus should be your personal financial plan. Sticking to a long-term savings strategy and investing consistently is a key factor in your plan's success. The stock market and bond market are simply the tools we use to help accomplish this. With that said, here's to a Prosperous New Year. Happy Investing!"
One Month, Annual Returns By Stock Category
US Large Cap Core: (0.54%), 11.16%
US Large Cap Value: (0.43%), 9.00%
US Small Cap Core: 1.31%, 6.02%
US Small Cap Value: 1.26%, 7.14%
International Large Core: (3.98%), (8.03%)
International Large Value: (3.88%), (9.37%)
International Small Core: (0.67%), (6.95%)
International Small Value: (0.80%), (7.74%)
Emerging Markets: (4.82%), (4.63%)
Short Term Bonds: (0.21%), 1.57%