Ivy Proshares MSCI ACWI Index Fund

Ivy Proshares MSCI ACWI Index Fund
12.31.18

Market Sector Update

  • As a whole, global equities were down approximately 12.5% in U.S. dollars over the quarter. The U.S. dollar appreciated about 1% relative to many other currencies. Escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Brexit negotiations, populism in France highlighted by yellow vests activism, and concerns over the pace of rate hikes in the U.S. provided a sour backdrop for equity markets. Understandably, earnings revisions turned decidedly negative.
  • The quarter witnessed an additional rate increase by the Federal Reserve (Fed), increasing the federal funds rate to a range of 2.25 –2.50%. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield closed the year at approximately 2.7%, a significant move from the 3.2% levels of November. In addition, the European Central Bank (ECB) ceased their asset purchase program, while the Swedish Central Bank, often considered a harbinger for the ECB, raised rates 25 basis points. China’s central bank stated a desire to maintain prudent monetary policy and keep the yuan stable while offering “reasonably ample” liquidity to the market.
  • Brent crude finished the quarter at $53.80, down almost 40% from its early October high. Excess U.S. supply concerns and lower global demand from an extended cycle drove the surprising swoon.

Portfolio Strategy

  • A passively managed index fund, the Fund delivered a negative return for the quarter, but slightly outperformed its benchmark for the period.
  • At the sector level, the largest contributors to relative performance were utilities (the only sector to deliver positive returns), consumer staples and materials. Conversely, the largest sector detractors to relative performance were information technology, financials and industrials.
  • From a country allocation standpoint, the Fund’s large allocations were to the U.S., Japan, and the U.K. The combined weight of these allocations comprised 66% of the Fund’s total weight. In addition, only three countries – India, Brazil and Indonesia– delivered positive returns that contributed to relative performance.

Outlook

  • There are a number of factors we are carefully monitoring in the current economic environment. Shift in central bank policy, the rise of nationalism and ongoing trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are standout concerns. Going forward, we believe geopolitics is likely to have a greater impact on asset performance than monetary policy. The question remains: How much longer will the cycle extend uninterrupted by looming risks? As a result, we are watching closely for signs of change and continue to seek stocks that should better withstand an economic downturn. While we think U.S.-China trade tensions will persist, we expect some positive agreements in 2019 that will provide relief to the market.
  • In much of the world, global monetary policy remains at the extremes of easy and we do not see that changing materially unless inflation accelerates at a higher-than-expected rate. Virtually all countries are struggling with high levels of debt. As a result, we believe central banks will attempt to keep rates below nominal gross domestic product growth in order to monetize the debt. As such, we believe there is a long-term cap on how high rates can go. Our base case is continued slow, deliberate exiting of quantitative easing and narrowing of negative interest rate policy globally. Unfortunately, this may result in many economies heading into the next economic downturn with very easy monetary policies.

The opinions expressed are those of the Fund’s manager and are not meant as investment advice or to predict or project the future performance of any investment product. The opinions are current through Dec. 31, 2018, are subject to change at any time based on market and other current conditions, and no forecasts can be guaranteed. This commentary is being provided as a general source of information and is not intended as a recommendation to purchase, sell, or hold any specific security or to engage in any investment strategy. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific objectives, financial needs, risk tolerance and time horizon. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

The Fund is a passively managed index fund designed to track the performance of its stated benchmark index. It does not invest in securities based on the managers' view of the investment merit of a particular security or company, nor does it conduct conventional investment research or analysis or forecast market movement or trends, in managing the assets of the Fund. The Fund seeks to remain fully invested at all times in securities that, in combination, provide exposure to its respective benchmark Index without regard to market conditions, trends or direction.

The MSCI ACWI Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets.The MSCI ACWI consists of 46 country indexes comprising 23 developed and 23 emerging market country indexes. The developed market country indexes included are: Australia,Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden,Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The emerging market country indexes included are: 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. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Risk factors: The value of the Fund’s shares will change, and you could lose money on your investment. International investing involves additional risks, including currency fluctuations, political or economic conditions affecting the foreign country, and differences in accounting standards and foreign regulations. These risks are magnified in emerging markets. The Fund entails other risks, including imperfect benchmark correlation and market price variance that may decrease performance. While the Fund attempts to track the performance of its stated index, there is no guarantee or assurance that the methodology used to create the Index will result in the Fund achieving high, or even positive, returns. The Index may underperform, and the Fund could lose value, while other indices or measures of market performance increase in value. A number of factors may affect the Fund’s ability to achieve a high degree of correlation with the Index, and there is no guarantee that the Fund will achieve a high degree of correlation. Failure to achieve a high degree of correlation may prevent the Fund from achieving its investment objective. The Fund’s use of derivatives presents several risks, including the risk that these instruments may change in value in a manner that adversely affects the Fund’s net asset value and the risk that fluctuations in the value of the derivatives may not correlate with the reference instrument underlying the derivative. An investment in the Fund is not a bank deposit and is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. These and other risks are more fully described in the Fund’s prospectus. Not all funds or fund classes may be offered at all broker/dealers.