Investment Review

Spring 2023


The major market indices had positive returns for the first quarter of 2023. International developed stocks led the pack with a return of 8.0%, followed by the US stock market returning 7.2%. Both US and global bonds had impressive quarterly returns of 3.0 and 2.9%, respectively.1

For the past 10 years, all major market indexes had positive returns, and for the 5-year period all except for emerging market stocks were positive. For the 1-year period ending March 31, 2023, all major market indices were negative.


Selected Headlines from the Past 12 Months Graphed with the World Stock Market Performance (MSCI All Country World Index)

The chart above highlights some of the year’s prominent headlines in the context of global stock market performance as measured by the MSCI All Country World Index-Investable Market Index (MSCI ACWI IMI). We are not offering these headlines to explain market returns. But they do serve as a reminder that investors should view daily events from a long-term perspective and avoid making financial decisions based solely on the news.


Investment Review

Benchmark Funds Q1 2023 12 Months Ending
US Large Cap
Vanguard 500 Index Fund



US Large Cap Value
iShares Russell 1000 Value Index



US Small Cap
iShares Russell 2000 Index



US Small Cap Value
iShares Russell 2000 Value Index



Vanguard Total International Stock Index



Emerging Markets
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF



Vanguard Real Estate Index



Investment-Grade Bonds
iShares Core Total U.S. Bond Market ETF





Individual Asset Classes

The returns for the recent quarter that are listed below are sourced from


US Stocks

The US equity market posted positive returns for the quarter and underperformed non-US developed markets, but outperformed emerging markets. Value underperformed growth. Small caps underperformed large caps. REIT indices underperformed equity market indices.

International Developed Market Stocks

Developed markets outside of the US posted positive returns for the quarter and outperformed both US and emerging markets. Value underperformed growth. Small caps underperformed large caps. 

Emerging Markets Stocks

Emerging markets posted positive returns for the quarter and underperformed both US and non-US developed markets. Value underperformed growth. Small caps underperformed large caps.

Real Estate Investment Trusts

US real estate investment trusts outperformed non-US REITs during the quarter.

Fixed Income

Within the US Treasury market during the first quarter of 2023, interest rates generally increased in the ultrashort-term segment and decreased in the short- to long-term segment.

On the short end of the yield curve, the 1-Month US Treasury Bill yield increased 62 basis points (bps) to 4.74%, while the 1-Year US Treasury Bill yield decreased 9 bps to 4.64%. The yield on the 2-Year US Treasury Note decreased 35 bps to 4.06%.

The yield on the 5-Year US Treasury Note decreased 39 bps to 3.60%. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury Note decreased 40 bps to 3.48%. The yield on the 30-Year US Treasury Bond decreased 30 bps to 3.67%. 

In terms of total returns, short-term US treasury bonds returned +1.87% while intermediate-term US treasury bonds returned +2.27%. Short-term corporate bonds returned +1.68% and intermediate-term corporate bonds returned +2.50%.

The total returns for short- and intermediate-term municipal bonds were +1.37% and +2.35%, respectively. Within the municipal fixed income market, general obligation bonds returned +2.59% while revenue bonds returned +2.96%.


We continue to recommend an asset allocation for our clients based upon personal risk tolerance and long-term objectives. A mix with a larger allocation to stock is considered riskier but has a higher expected return over time.

Thank you for your continued confidence and trust.



  1. Market segment (index representation) as follows: US Stock Market (Russell 3000 Index), International Developed Stocks (MSCI World ex USA Index [net dividends]), US Bond Market (Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index), and Global Bond Market ex US (Bloomberg Global Aggregate ex-USD Bond Index [hedged to USD]).
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