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Crisis Investing: How 14 Different Asset Classes Performed in Times of Distress

Crisis Investing: How 14 Different Asset Classes Performed in Times of Distress

Crisis Investing: How 14 Different Asset Classes Performed in Times of Distress

Note: to see the bigger version of this infographic, click here.

History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes. This could not be truer for crisis investing.

Between China’s stock market and the debt troubles of Greece and Puerto Rico, it is clear that we could be entering a time of potential financial crisis.

Every situation is unique, but generally the types of asset classes that protect investors in times of crisis are not necessarily the same as those during a bull run. Therefore, it’s worth taking a look at five previous periods of distress to see the returns of conventional and alternative asset classes.

1994: Surprise Rate Hike

In 1994, the economy was recovering from a significant recession and treasury yields started to rise from the lows of the previous year. The Fed and Alan Greenspan surprised markets by tightening monetary policy with the first rate hike in five years.

Returns: Large cap (-7.75%) and small cap stocks (-9.84%) got crushed. Managed futures (4.07%), commodities (3.15%), and gold (0.28%) did okay.

1998: LTCM Goes Under

Long-Term Capital Management started off with promise as it brought in annualized returns (after fees) of 21%, 43%, and 41% in its first three years with high leverage and normal macroeconomic conditions. LTCM directors Myron Scholes and Robert Merton would share the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997. Promptly after, the hedge fund would lose $4.6 billion in four months in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, requiring a bailout from the Federal Reserve and various banks.

Returns: Stocks and REITs get crushed. Bonds (0.78%) and managed futures (5.61%) survive.

2000: Dotcom Bubble Bursts

Fledgling internet companies with no profits and limited revenues went public, reaping huge gains on IPOs. Prices went up and up, but eventually came crashing down in March of 2000 with the Nasdaq losing up to 70% of its peak value.

Returns: Large cap stocks (-40.33%), small cap stocks (-35.29%), private equity (-25.40%), and international stocks (-46.53%) get hammered. REITs (49.48%), bonds (19.65%), global macro (44.69%) all did well. Gold (0.47%) remained virtually unchanged.

2001: 9/11 Tragedy

Coordinated attacks on the United States shock markets, and the NYSE and Nasdaq remain closed until September 17th. Upon re-opening, the Dow drops 7%.

Returns: Almost all asset classes struggle, but gold (3.73%) got the highest return.

2008: Global Financial Crisis

Lehman Brothers goes under and the Greenspan real estate bubble crashes and burns. Excessive speculation, lenient mortgage lending, and the proliferation of derivative financial products such as credit default swaps contribute to the problem. The Fed has $29 trillion in bailout commitments while 8.8 million jobs and $19.2 trillion in household wealth are lost.

Returns: Again, most assets get crushed. It is no surprise that worst off are REITs (-63.77%). Gold continues to shine, gaining double digits (16.33%).

Original graphic by: Attain Capital

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