WisdomTree’s Chief Investment Strategist, Luciano Siracusano (L.S.), its Director of Research, Jeremy Schwartz (J.S.), and its Head of Fixed Income and Currency, Rick Harper (R.H.), sat down in mid-December to reflect on 2014 and discuss the forces that could impact global financial markets in 2015.
Below, we highlight the biggest surprises of 2014 and potential risks to look out for in 2015. To read the full roundtable discussion, please click here.
Q: What surprised you about 2014?
J.S.: The biggest surprise of 2014 was how quickly oil prices collapsed—and the winners and losers this created across the various equity markets. Russia, being a major oil exporter, had the biggest negative performance, largely exacerbated by its currency sell-off; importers of oil like India, Japan, even the United States benefited.
L.S.: I agree with Jeremy on oil. The other thing that surprised me was that we did not get what so many were expecting at the beginning of the year—a correction of 10% or more in the U.S. stock market. We saw the sixth consecutive year of positive equity returns in the U.S., and we’ve seen stocks compound at 16% per year for six years in the U.S. I think the power and longevity of this bull market in stocks has surprised many investors.
R.H.: The sharp drop in oil prices and the slide in global interest rates stand out as the largest surprises over this past year. Both emerged as economic growth momentum faltered and disinflationary forces intensified outside the U.S.
Q: What are some of the big risks that could impact markets in 2015?