Global Investment Strategy Report

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1 Global Investment Strategy Global Investment Strategy Report January 11, 2016 Tracie McMillion, CFA Head of Global Asset Allocation Weekly market insights from the Global Investment Strategy team» When evaluating your portfolio s performance, keep your investment goals in mind.» Do not let a comparison to a single segment of the market drive your overall strategic asset allocation decisions. What it may mean for investors» When making investment decisions, don t overlook your time horizon or ignore your feelings about market volatility. Do not let a misguided reference point derail your strategy. Stay Calm, Reassess Your Goals, and Diversify Globally Last week we observed the worst start to the year for U.S. equity markets ever. The S&P 500 Index dropped 6.0 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.2 percent. If your portfolio was invested exclusively in one of these indices, then you unfortunately experienced this dramatic drop first-hand. If, on the other hand, you had bonds in your portfolio, they probably rose in value last week, as did some commodity prices including gold and certain agricultural products. If you held hedged funds or managed futures, they also may have experienced a positive week. In other words, if you held a diversified portfolio of assets, then it is unlikely that your overall portfolio experienced declines that were as sharp as the equity-market losses reported in the headlines. Therefore, we believe that it s essential to consider an accurate point of reference when you re making investment decisions. Basing decisions on the returns of a narrow group of assets during a very short period of time might not align with your long-term investment goals. When you consider making changes to your portfolio, think first about what you want your assets to do for you, how you feel about market volatility, and when you expect to start making withdrawals from your portfolio. You should discuss these questions with your investment professional. Each individual investor likely will answer them differently. But, generally speaking, most investors do not like to see their assets decline in value, and many investors are saving for goals that are years or decades away. As such, an investment portfolio often seeks to balance two conflicting goals: capital preservation and asset growth. These common financial goals conflict because a portfolio that attempts to minimize fluctuations in value is unlikely to experience much growth, even over long periods of time. On the other hand, a portfolio that is invested only in growth-type assets like stocks, likely will experience big (and unpredictable) drops in value, possibly over very short periods of time. Yet over longer periods of time, say 10 to 15 years, those drops tend to reverse themselves and may lead to overall longer-term performance that is better than that generated by less volatile assets. To appease near-term loss aversion and facilitate the longer-term need for asset growth, many portfolios comprise a mix of assets that perform these rival functions. Over time, history has shown that such a combination of assets has generated positive returns with less volatility than a portfolio that is wholly invested in U.S. stocks. Even so, in periods of positive market performance, many investors grow impatient with a portfolio that is underperforming U.S. stocks. On the other hand, when stocks are falling in value many investors choose to sell them, preferring instead the relative stability of bonds or 2016 Wells Fargo Investment Institute. All rights reserved. Page 1 of 5

2 cash - and this may change the makeup (and expected return) of their portfolio. A U.S. stock index, is not an apples-to-apples comparison to a globally diversified portfolio, nor is a simple U.S. stock/bond index mix. Instead, investors should evaluate their portfolio needs and construct a mix of assets that is expected to generate their required return with an acceptable level of volatility. We see in the chart below why it is not a good idea to compare a globally diversified portfolio to the S&P 500 Index over short periods of time. Given the S&P 500 Index s outperformance over the past six years, investors may be tempted to abandon a globally diversified strategy. However, in the context of longerterm performance and volatility ( ), what we see is that a globally diversified portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 Index by approximately 1.6 percent per year on average, with smaller losses in down years. That means that the standard deviation, a common measure of portfolio volatility, is much lower for the globally diversified portfolio. Chart 1. Although annualized returns from were similar, an all-equity portfolio was more volatile than a diversified portfolio Percent Balanced 4AG Portfolio S&P 500 Index Total Return Source: FactSet, 1/8/16 The Balanced 4AG Portfolio is comprised as follows: 3% Barclays US Treasury Bill 1-3 Months, 20% Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index, 5% Barclays US Corporate High Yield Index, 3% JPM GBI Global Ex-US TR USD Index, 4% JPM EMBI Global TR USD Index, 17% S&P 500 Index, 8.6% Russell Mid Cap TR USD Index, 4.8% Russell 2000 TR USD Index, 8% MSCI EAFE GR USD Index, 6.6% MSCI EM USD Index, 8% FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed TR USD Index, 2% Bloomberg Commodity Index, 2% HFRI Relative Value Index, 2% HFRI Macro Index, 3% HFRI Event Driven Index, 3% HFRI Equity Hedge Index. We anticipate that a typical diversified portfolio will generate similar returns over the next 15 years, an approach that should generate sufficient return to meet many investors needs, especially if inflation remains low as we expect. Our estimate for this globally diversified portfolio over the next 10 to 15 years is 6.8 percent annualized return on average. That means it is likely that in some years the returns will be higher than the expected return and in others they will be lower. There may even be periods with consecutive years of lower-than-expected returns. If your return requirement exceeds 6.8 percent, you 2016 Wells Fargo Investment Institute. All rights reserved. Page 2 of 5

3 may wish to increase overall equity exposure in your portfolio. On the other hand, if your return requirement is lower, then you may wish to temper the expected risk in the portfolio by adding more short-term bonds and, possibly hedge funds depending on your individual circumstances. This is why it is critical to understand your goals, time frame, and risk temperament, and share all of these elements with your investment professional. Then together you can construct a portfolio that caters not to the whims of the markets, but works diligently over the years to build the wealth necessary to achieve your goals. Risk Factors All investing involves some degree of risk, whether it is associated with market volatility, purchasing power or a specific security. Stocks offer long-term growth potential, but may fluctuate more and provide less current income than other investments. Investing in foreign securities presents certain risks not associated with domestic investments, such as currency fluctuation, political and economic instability, and different accounting standards. This may result in greater share price volatility. These risks are heightened in emerging markets. Bond prices fluctuate inversely to changes in interest rates. Therefore, a general rise in interest rates can result in the decline of the value of your investment. Investing in fixed income securities involves certain risks such as market risk if sold prior to maturity and credit risk especially if investing in high yield bonds, which have lower ratings and are subject to greater volatility. All fixed income investments may be worth less than original cost upon redemption or maturity. Investing in commodities is not suitable for all investors. Exposure to the commodities markets may subject an investment to greater share price volatility than an investment in traditional equity or debt securities. Investments in commodities may be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity index volatility, changes in interest rates or factors affecting a particular industry or commodity. Products that invest in commodities may employ more complex strategies which may expose investors to additional risks. Alternative investments, such as hedge funds and private capital/private debt strategies, are not suitable for all investors. Any offer to purchase or sell a specific alternative investment product will be made by the product's official offering documents. Investors could lose all or a substantial amount investing in these products. Some alternative strategies may expose investors to risks such as short selling, leverage risk, counterparty risk, liquidity risk and commodity price volatility risk. In addition, alternative strategies engage in derivative transactions. Short selling involves the risk of potentially unlimited increase in the market value of the security sold short, which could result in potentially unlimited loss for the fund. In addition, taking short positions in securities is a form of leverage which may cause a portfolio to be more volatile. Derivatives generally have implied leverage and may entail other risks such as liquidity and interest rate and credit risks. Successful hedging strategies may require the anticipation of future movements in securities prices, interest rates and other economic factors. No assurance can be given that such judgments will be correct. There is no assurance that any target expectation mentioned will be attained. Diversification does not guarantee profit or protect against loss in declining markets. Definitions An index is not managed and is unavailable for direct investment. Standard Deviation is a measure of volatility. It reflects the degree of variability surrounding the outcome of an investment decision; the higher the standard deviation, the greater the risk. The assumptions are not designed to predict actual performance, and there are no assurances that any estimates used will be achieved. Barclays 1-3 Month U.S. Treasury Bill Index includes all publicly issued zero-coupon U.S. Treasury Bills that have a remaining maturity of less than 3 months and more than 1 month, are rated investment grade, and have $250 million or more of outstanding face value. In addition, the securities must be denominated in U.S. dollars and must be fixed rate and nonconvertible. Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is unmanaged and is composed of the Barclays U.S. Government/Credit Index and the Barclays U.S. Mortgage-Backed Securities Index, and includes Treasury issues, agency issues, corporate bond issues, and mortgage-backed securities Wells Fargo Investment Institute. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 5

4 Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Index covers the universe of fixed-rate, noninvestment-grade debt. JPMorgan GBI Global Ex US TR Index in USD is an unmanaged index market representative of the total return performance in U.S. dollars on an unhedged basis of major non-u.s. bond markets. JPMorgan Emerging Markets Bond Index (EMBI Global) currently covers 27 emerging market countries, included in the EMBI Global are U.S.-dollar-denominated Brady bonds, Eurobonds, traded loans, and local market debt instruments issued by sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities. S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index calculated on a total-return basis with dividends reinvested. The index includes 500 widely held U.S. market industrial, utility, transportation and financial companies. Russell Midcap Index measures the performance of the 800 smallest companies in the Russell 1000 Index, which represent approximately 25% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 1000 Index. Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index, which represents approximately 8% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 3000 Index. MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australasia, Far East) is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the US & Canada. The Index consists of the following 21 developed market country indexes: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance of emerging markets. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index consists of the following 23 emerging market country indexes: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Index is designed to track the performance of listed real-estate companies and REITs in developed countries worldwide. Bloomberg Commodity Index is a broadly diversified index comprised of 22 exchange-traded futures on physical commodities and represents 20 commodities weighted to account for economic significance and market liquidity. HFRI Equity Hedge (Total) Index consists of Investment Managers who maintain positions both long and short in primarily equity and equity derivative securities. A wide variety of investment processes can be employed to arrive at an investment decision, including both quantitative and fundamental techniques; strategies can be broadly diversified or narrowly focused on specific sectors and can range broadly in terms of levels of net exposure, leverage employed, holding period, concentrations of market capitalizations and valuation ranges of typical portfolios. EH managers would typically maintain HFRI Macro Index: Investment Managers which trade a broad range of strategies in which the investment process is predicated on movements in underlying economic variables and the impact these have on equity, fixed income, hard currency and commodity markets. Managers employ a variety of techniques, both discretionary and systematic analysis, combinations of top down and bottom up theses, quantitative and fundamental approaches and long and short term holding periods. Although some strategies employ RV techniques, Macro strategies are distinct from RV strategies in that the primary investment thesis is predicated on predicted or future movements in the underlying instruments, rather than realization of a valuation discrepancy between securities. In a similar way, while both Macro and equity hedge managers may hold equity securities, the overriding investment thesis is predicated on the impact movements in underlying macroeconomic variables may have on security prices, as opposes to EH, in which the fundamental characteristics on the company are the most significant are integral to investment thesis. HFRI Event Driven Index: Investment Managers who maintain positions in companies currently or prospectively involved in corporate transactions of a wide variety including but not limited to mergers, restructurings, financial distress, tender offers, shareholder buybacks, debt exchanges, security issuance or other capital structure adjustments. Security types can range from most senior in the capital structure to most junior or subordinated, and frequently involve additional derivative securities. Event Driven exposure includes a combination of sensitivities to equity markets, credit markets and idiosyncratic, company specific developments. Investment theses are typically predicated on fundamental characteristics (as opposed to quantitative), with the realization of the thesis predicated on a specific development exogenous to the existing capital structure Wells Fargo Investment Institute. All rights reserved. Page 4 of 5

5 HFRI Relative Value Index maintains positions in which the investment thesis is predicated on realization of a valuation discrepancy in the relationship between multiple securities. Managers employ a variety of fundamental and quantitative techniques to establish investment theses, and security types range broadly across equity, fixed income, derivative or other security types. Fixed income strategies are typically quantitatively driven to measure the existing relationship between instruments and, in some cases, identify attractive positions in which the risk adjusted spread between these instruments represents an attractive opportunity for the investment manager. RV position may be involved in corporate transactions also, but as opposed to ED exposures, the investment thesis is predicated on realization of a pricing discrepancy between related securities, as opposed to the outcome of the corporate transaction. Note: HFRI Indices have limitations (some of which are typical of other widely used indices). These limitations include survivorship bias (the returns of the indices may not be representative of all the hedge funds in the universe because of the tendency of lower performing funds to leave the index); heterogeneity (not all hedge funds are alike or comparable to one another, and the index may not accurately reflect the performance of a described style); and limited data (many hedge funds do not report to indices, and, therefore, the index may omit funds, the inclusion of which might significantly affect the performance shown. The HFRI Indices are based on information self reported by hedge fund managers that decide on their own, at any time, whether or not they want to provide, or continue to provide, information to HFR Asset Management, L.L.C. Results for funds that go out of business are included in the index until the date that they cease operations. Therefore, these indices may not be complete or accurate representations of the hedge fund universe, and may be biased in several ways. Returns of the underlying hedge funds are net of fees and are denominated in USD. Disclaimers Global Investment Strategy is a division of Wells Fargo Investment Institute, Inc. (WFII). WFII is a registered investment adviser and wholly-owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company and provides investment advice to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Wells Fargo Advisors and other Wells Fargo affiliates. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. The information in this report was prepared by the Global Investment Strategy division of WFII. Opinions represent GIS opinion as of the date of this report and are for general information purposes only and are not intended to predict or guarantee the future performance of any individual security, market sector or the markets generally. GIS does not undertake to advise you of any change in its opinions or the information contained in this report. Wells Fargo & Company affiliates may issue reports or have opinions that are inconsistent with, and reach different conclusions from, this report. This report is not intended to be a client specific suitability analysis or recommendation, an offer to participate in any investment, or a recommendation to buy, hold or sell securities. Do not use this report as the sole basis for investment decisions. Do not select an asset class or investment product based on performance alone. Consider all relevant information, including your existing portfolio, investment objectives, risk tolerance, liquidity needs and investment time horizon. Wells Fargo Advisors is registered with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, but is not licensed or registered with any financial services regulatory authority outside of the U.S. Non-U.S. residents who maintain U.S.-based financial services account(s) with Wells Fargo Advisors may not be afforded certain protections conferred by legislation and regulations in their country of residence in respect of any investments, investment transactions or communications made with Wells Fargo Advisors. CAR Brokerage products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC, non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company Wells Fargo Investment Institute. All rights reserved. Page 5 of 5

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