How Smaller Stocks May Offer Larger Returns

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1 Strategic Advisory Solutions April 2015 How Smaller Stocks May Offer Larger Returns In an environment where the US continues to be the growth engine of the developed world, investors may find opportunity by looking down the market capitalization spectrum. Historically, smaller equities have tended to deliver higher returns, but with higher volatility, 1 compared to larger stocks. That record contrasts with recent performance, where smaller stocks have underperformed their larger counterparts. 2 Since the middle of 2014, the US Dollar Index has risen by about 20%. Historically, Dollar strength has been a catalyst for smaller equities to outperform larger company stocks. Today, we believe that currency trends, macroeconomic factors and the power of mean reversion combine to create the potential for investment opportunity. Smaller equities historically have often been more isolated to many types of global economic events when compared to larger, multinational firms. For starters, they historically have outperformed during periods of currency strength similar to the current one. These stocks have also tended to outpace large caps in times when the Federal Reserve (Fed) has tightened monetary policy; a scenario which markets suggest could unfold later this year. After underperforming large caps in 2014, investors may consider a number of benefits historically associated with smaller stocks: Strong growth: The US economy is expected to continue outpacing the Eurozone and Japan, 3 potentially generating significantly higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates than other developed nations in Smaller stocks also tend to be closely correlated to the performance of the US economy. Monetary policy: The Fed is potentially prepared to raise interest rates sometime this year for the first time in nearly a decade. Fed tightening cycles have historically led to a period of outperformance for smaller stocks versus their larger counterparts. Pure exposure: Smaller companies tend to benefit from purer exposure to domestic growth than other market segments due to the large percentage of their revenue generated in the US. Dollar strength: Smaller stocks tend to outperform during periods of US Dollar strength. Since the middle of 2014, the US Dollar Index, which measures the US currency against a basket of other major currencies, has risen by about 20%. 4 Historically, Dollar strength has been a catalyst for smaller equities to outperform larger company stocks. 1 Source: Morningstar. Smaller equities historically have delivered higher returns with higher volatility compared to larger stocks as measured by the standard deviation of the Russell 1000, a US large cap equity benchmark, versus the small cap Russell Source: Bloomberg. In 2014, the Russell 2000 rose 4.9%, while the S&P 500 rose 13.7%. GSAMFUNDS.com 3 Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research as of February 28, Euro area is defined as countries in the Eurozone. This has been prepared by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research and is not a product of GSAM. The views and opinions expressed may differ from those of GSAM or other departments or divisions of Goldman Sachs and its affiliates. Please see additional disclosures. 4 Source: Bloomberg, US Dollar Index measured from June 30, 2014 through February 28, 2015.

2 Macroeconomic Conditions, Policy Implications With equities in a six-year bull market 5 and major indexes hovering near record territory, investors may find themselves on the lookout for new investment opportunities. We believe above-trend US economic growth and expanding earnings should provide a supportive backdrop for risk assets in the months ahead. By most traditional valuation metrics, however, US equities are expensive at current levels. Rising price-to-earnings multiples, which played a significant role in the 2013 equity rally, appear to be a thing of the past. We believe the US will remain the anchor of the global economy, an environment that may be supportive of US equities, and in particular smaller stocks. With the easy money potentially already made, we believe investors should look down the market cap spectrum for new potential opportunities. Consider the current landscape: US economic growth is expected to expand at about a 3% rate in 2015, higher than the forecasted growth rates for the Eurozone and Japan. 6 Exhibit 1: Global Divergence Taking Hold An expanding US economy coincides with slower expected growth from the Eurozone and Japan. Real GDP Year-over-Year (%) US China World Eurozone Japan Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research as of February 28, Euro area is defined as countries in the Eurozone. This has been prepared by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research and is not a product of GSAM. The views and opinions expressed may differ from those of GSAM or other departments or divisions of Goldman Sachs and its affiliates. Year over year in this context compares 2015 projections to 2014 data points. Please see additional disclosures. As the Fed potentially moves toward a tighter monetary policy regime, the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank (ECB) have taken more accommodative stances to support their respective economies. The Bank of Japan unexpectedly expanded its bond-buying program in late Earlier this year, the ECB started its own asset purchase program to boost growth and keep interest rates low. Meanwhile, the Fed concluded its quantitative easing program last year and is expected to raise rates as the economy continues to improve. Under this scenario, we believe the US will remain the anchor of the global economy, an environment that may be supportive of US equities, and in particular smaller stocks. 5 A bull market is defined as a gain from at least 20% from a low point. The S&P 500 has risen by more than 200% since the March 2009 bottom. 6 Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research as of February 28, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

3 Exhibit 2: Monetary Policies on Divergent Paths As the US economy grows and the Federal Reserve pulls back on accommodative policies, many believe the Eurozone and Japan are implementing additional stimulus to keep rates low. 1.6 US Euro Area Japan UK Month Interbank Rates (%) Source: Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research as of February 28, The economic and market forecasts presented herein are for informational purposes as of the date of this presentation. There can be no assurance that the forecasts will be achieved. Please see additional disclosures at the end of this presentation. Why Small Caps? Historically, many smaller companies have been more domestically oriented and have generated revenue closer to home compared to their larger peers. Small caps have also been closely linked to the prospects of the US economy. As long as US economic growth has trended higher, small caps historically have tended to follow suit. In the second and third quarters of 2014, the US economy grew at the fastest six-month pace since GDP growth is expected around 3% in Historically, smaller stocks and US economic growth have been closely linked. Since 2001, US GDP and sales growth among smaller stocks have had a 0.82 correlation. 8 On a scale where 1 suggests both factors fluctuate in lockstep and -1 means the opposite, the recent correlation figures highlight how small-cap sales growth and US economic growth have tended to move in tandem. We believe an economy that keeps expanding may bode well for continued smaller-cap sales growth. 7 Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research as of February 28, Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and BofA Merrill Lynch Small Cap Research as of January 30, Correlation is defined as the extent to which two or more variables fluctuate together. Past correlations are not indicative of future correlations, which may vary. Goldman Sachs Asset Management 3

4 Since 1955, in threemonth periods prior to a Fed rate hike, the small cap Russell 2000 has averaged a 7.6% rally, outpacing the average 4.6% gain for the S&P 500. Exhibit 3: As Goes Growth, So Go Small Caps Small caps tend to be closely linked to US economic growth. 4Q Average GDP Q Average GDP (LHS) Small Cap Sales Growth (RHS) Small Cap Sales Growth Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis and BofA Merrill Lynch Small Cap Research as of January 30, Correlation is defined as the extent to which two or more variables fluctuate together. Past correlations are not indicative of future correlations, which may vary. A Tighter Federal Reserve? Nearly a decade has passed since the Fed last raised interest rates. Even then, that rising-rate environment was a relatively short-lived experience as it only lasted from 2004 through Though history is an incomplete guide, the past nevertheless can yield a number of worthwhile insights regarding how equities tend to react to a changing interest-rate regime. Typically, global equity prices have often rallied in both the run-up to policy rate-hike cycles and in the year following the onset of rate increases with the health of the economy a key consideration. Amid those rallies, smaller stocks have tended to perform well when the Fed has raised rates. Since 1955, in three-month periods prior to a Fed rate hike, the Russell 2000 an index of smallcap stocks has averaged a 7.6% rally, outpacing the average 4.6% gain for the S&P 500 over the same time frame. 9 Performance figures show a similar story after the Fed has hiked rates. Historically, the Russell 2000 has outperformed the S&P 500 in three-month, six-month and twelve-month time frames following the onset of a rate hike. 9 Source: Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, Morningstar/Ibbotson, and GSAM. As of March The average small cap outperformance during periods of US Dollar strength is based on nine periods when the US Dollar strengthened and nine periods where the USD weakened from 1980 through US Dollar strengthening cycles are defined by periods when the US Dollar Index strengthens. Small cap outperformance is measured by the annualized return of the Russell 2000 Index relative to the S&P 500 Index. 4 Goldman Sachs Asset Management

5 Exhibit 4: Smaller Caps Don t Fear the Fed Small caps have outperformed large caps across previous tightening cycles. 3.0% 3.6% 2.9% 6.1% Prior 3 Months First 3 Months First 6 Months First 12 Months Small Cap Large Cap Performance Differential During Periods of Federal Reserve Tightening As of March Tightening cycles are defined as periods when the federal funds rate increased. Past performance does not guarantee future results, which may vary. Data are from 1955 to 2014, the history of this dataset. Small cap refers to the Morningstar Ibbotson Associates Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation (IA SBBI) Small Stock Total Return US Dollar (TR USD) Index. Large cap refers to the IA SBBI US Large Stock TR USD Index. Since 1970, smaller stocks have outperformed large caps during Dollar strengthening cycles by about 6.7%. Dollar Strength: A Potential Tailwind Small caps also have largely been insulated from the rising US Dollar, which has hampered the growth of many global firms. A stronger US currency tends to make exports more expensive in overseas markets, which weigh on the bottom lines of multinational firms and their stock prices. On a relative basis, smaller companies have the luxury of sidestepping many of those international problems, due to the fact that the bulk of their sales are usually generated close to home. About 82% of revenue from companies in the Russell 2000 is generated in the US, compared to only 67% from S&P 500 companies. 10 The US Dollar Index, which measures the US currency against a basket of currencies, rose about 20% from June 2014 through February Meanwhile, the Euro has fallen close to a 12-year low, moving closer to parity with the US Dollar. The Japanese Yen has also fallen to a seven-year low against the US Dollar. In periods when the Dollar strengthens, similar to the current one, smaller caps have tended to outperform relative to their larger counterparts. Since 1970, smaller stocks have outperformed large caps during Dollar strengthening cycles by about 6.7%. By comparison, smaller equities have underperformed large caps during Dollar weakening cycles by about 4.9% Source: Factset. Small cap is the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index. Large Cap is the S&P 500 Index. 11 Source: Factset and Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research. The average small cap outperformance during periods of US Dollar strength is based on nine periods when the USD strengthened and nine periods where the USD weakened from 1980 to US Dollar strengthening cycles are defined by periods when the US Dollar Index strengthens. Small cap outperformance is measured by the annualized return of the Russell 2000 Index relative to the S&P 500 Index. A basis point is 1/100th of a percent. Goldman Sachs Asset Management 5

6 Exhibit 5: Dollar Strength Has Bode Well for Smaller Stocks Smaller stocks historically have performed well in phases of Dollar strength Returns (bps) bps Average small cap outperformance during USD strength relative to large cap Average small cap underperformance during USD weakness relative to large cap -486 bps -600 Source: Factset and Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research. The average small cap outperformance during periods of US Dollar strength is based on nine periods when the USD strengthened and nine periods where the USD weakened from 1980 to US Dollar strengthening cycles are defined by periods when the US Dollar Index strengthens. Small cap outperformance is measured by the annualized return of the Russell 2000 Index relative to the S&P 500 Index. A basis point is 1/100th of a percent. Conclusion Historically, smaller stocks have tended to benefit from (1) a rising growth environment; (2) a tightening Federal Reserve; and (3) a rising dollar. The current economic backdrop supports all three factors. Smaller companies also tend to do the bulk of their business at home, potentially making their businesses and stock prices more isolated to global economic turmoil than multinational firms. After underperforming large caps in 2014 the Russell 2000 rose just 4.9% for the year, compared to a 13.7% gain for the S&P 500 investors may consider several factors historically associated with smaller stocks that may provide a supportive backdrop in the months ahead. 6 Goldman Sachs Asset Management

7 Risk Considerations The securities of small capitalization companies involve greater risks than those associated with larger, more established companies and may be subject to more abrupt or erratic price movements. Equities may decline in value due to both real and perceived general market, economic, and industry conditions. Bonds are subject to interest rate, price and credit risks. Prices tend to be inversely affected by changes in interest rates. Typically, when interest rates rise, there is a corresponding decline in the market value of bonds. Credit risk refers to the risk that the issuer of the bond will not be able to make principal and interest payments. All investing involves some degree of risk, whether it is associated with market volatility, purchasing power or a specific security. General Disclosures This material is provided for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities. Views and opinions expressed are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation by GSAM to buy, sell, or hold any security. Views and opinions are current as of the date of this presentation and may be subject to change, they should not be construed as investment advice. Although certain information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy, completeness or fairness. We have relied upon and assumed without independent verification, the accuracy and completeness of all information available from public sources. Economic and market forecasts presented herein reflect a series of assumptions and judgments as of the date of this presentation and are subject to change without notice. These forecasts do not take into account the specific investment objectives, restrictions, tax and financial situation or other needs of any specific client. Actual data will vary and may not be reflected here. These forecasts are subject to high levels of uncertainty that may affect actual performance. Accordingly, these forecasts should be viewed as merely representative of a broad range of possible outcomes. These forecasts are estimated, based on assumptions, and are subject to significant revision and may change materially as economic and market conditions change. Goldman Sachs has no obligation to provide updates or changes to these forecasts. Case studies and examples are for illustrative purposes only. The S&P 500 Index is the Standard & Poor s 500 Composite Stock Prices Index of 500 stocks, an unmanaged index of common stock prices. The index figures do not reflect any deduction for fees, expenses or taxes. It is not possible to invest directly in an unmanaged index. The Russell 2000 Index is an unmanaged index of common stock prices that measures the performance of the small cap segment of the US equity universe. The US Dollar Index measures the US unit against a basket of six other currencies. Indices are unmanaged. The figures for the index reflect the reinvestment of all income or dividends, as applicable, but do not reflect the deduction of any fees or expenses which would reduce returns. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. The indices referenced herein have been selected because they are well known, easily recognized by investors, and reflect those indices that the Investment Manager believes, in part based on industry practice, provide a suitable benchmark against which to evaluate the investment or broader market described herein. The exclusion of failed or closed hedge funds may mean that each index overstates the performance of hedge funds generally. This material has been prepared by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research and is not a product of GSAM. It is financial research prepared in compliance with applicable provisions of law designed to promote the independence of financial analysis and is subject to a prohibition on trading following the distribution of financial research. The views and opinions expressed may differ from those of GSAM or other departments or divisions of Goldman Sachs and its affiliates. This information discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends, or other broad-based economic, market or political conditions and should not be construed as research or investment advice. Investors are urged to consult with their financial advisors before buying or selling any securities. This information may not be current and Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research has no obligation to provide any updates or change. References to indices, benchmarks or other measures of relative market performance over a specified period of time are provided for your information only and do not imply that the portfolio will achieve similar results. The index composition may not reflect the manner in which a portfolio is constructed. Past performance does not guarantee future results, which may vary. The value of investments and the income derived from investments will fluctuate and can go down as well as up. A loss of principal may occur. Confidentiality No part of this material may, without GSAM s prior written consent, be (i) copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form, by any means, or (ii) distributed to any person that is not an employee, officer, director, or authorized agent of the recipient 2015 Goldman Sachs. All rights reserved. Compliance code: MF.MED.OTU. Goldman, Sachs & Co., member FINRA. Date of first use: 04/17/2015. WP_SMID/4-15 Goldman Sachs Asset Management 7

8 2015 Goldman Sachs. All rights reserved. Compliance code: MF.MED.OTU. WP_SMID/4-15

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