Equity strategy performance: Q1 and beyond

Patricia Bannan, CFA
May 04, 2020

As uncertainty continues, we believe our approach of investing in quality companies is the appropriate prescription to financially endure this crisis. CIBC Private Wealth highlights how our five largest equity strategies have performed this quarter, and how we are taking advantage of the market volatility in the midst of this pandemic.

First quarter market overview: U.S. and international equities

The first quarter of 2020 came to a close with a steep sell off in equity markets around the world, resulting in the largest quarterly market decline since the Great Financial Crisis. Demand destruction arrived at breathtaking speed as individuals retreated to their homes in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus as it swept across the globe. Worldwide, the reaction of markets was swift and volatile—for the quarter, the MSCI All Country World Index (ex US) was down 23.4%, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index was down 23.6%, and the S&P 500 Index declined almost 20%--besting international markets but ending the U.S. bull market.


While we closely watch the tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases, we are still left with a great deal of uncertainty as to the duration and severity of this crisis in terms of the human and economic toll. We believe our approach of investing in quality companies with defensible business models and predictable earnings, underpinned by strong balance sheets is the appropriate prescription to financially endure this crisis. While we emphasize the importance of long-term investing, we highlight below how CIBC Private Wealth’s five largest equity strategies have performed this quarter, and how we are taking advantage of the market volatility in the midst of this pandemic.

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