The combined value of savings held in the Silver Thatch Pension Plan stood at US$350.1 million as of December 31, 2012.
The table below shows the rates of return as of December 31, 2012, for each of the investment portfolio options offered under the Plan. Also shown (in blue) are the corresponding benchmarks. (A benchmark is the standard against which a fund’s performance is judged).
Investment market highlights
- Global equity markets rallied in the fourth quarter of 2012 despite investor concerns about weak global growth and the U.S. “fiscal cliff”.
- U.S. equities lost ground during the fourth quarter, while the S&P 500 index slipped 0.4%.
- Japanese equity markets were the top performer among developed nations, climbing 5.3% (in US$) during the quarter. European equity markets posted positive returns even though the Euro zone remained mired in recession.
- Emerging market equities rose 5.6% (in US$) on the quarter as superior growth prospects fueled increased demand.
- Fixed income markets turned in mixed results for the quarter. U.S. bond markets rose 1.1%, led by investment-grade credit, while emerging market debt rose 3.3%. U.S. Treasuries slipped 0.1% and global sovereign bonds were down 4.1%.
- Precious metals were down 7.3% quarter over quarter.
- The Euro zone region remains in recession and is not expected to see positive growth until the second half of 2013.
- Emerging markets are expected to lead growth for many years to come. However, growth in more advanced economies like Brazil, India and China will be weighed down by issues such as income inequality, infrastructure bottlenecks, and inefficient investments. That said, growth in Asia is expected to pick up steam and support global growth.
- Persistent fiscal and growth uncertainty in the U.S. is expected to pose a challenge for global markets.
- Within fixed income, emerging market debt will continue to offer attractive yields.
- Gold will continue to provide portfolio diversification benefits and may strengthen in 2013.
A more detailed investment market commentary prepared by Deutsche Bank is available here.