Investment Review

Spring 2024

US stocks, international developed equities, and emerging market stocks all had positive returns for the first quarter of 2024. Global real estate was down. On the fixed income side, US bonds were down while global bonds outside of the US were up.

For the past one, five, and 10 years, all major market indexes of both stocks and bonds had positive returns. For the five-year period ending March 31, 2024, the US stock market and international developed stocks returned 14 and 7%, respectively. Holding bonds over this five-year period would have returned only 0.4% and 1.0% for US bonds and global bonds outside of the US, respectively. The takeaway is that if you can stomach the daily and quarterly volatility that comes with holding stocks, that’s the place to earn the highest returns over longer time periods.

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 2024 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 outperformed both non-US developed and 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 underperformed the US market, but outperformed emerging markets. Value underperformed growth. Small cap stocks 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

Interest rates generally increased in the US Treasury market for the quarter.

On the short end of the yield curve, the 1-Month US Treasury Bill yield decreased 11 basis points (bps) to 5.49%, while the 1-Year US Treasury Bill yield increased 24 bps to 5.03%. The yield on the 2-Year US Treasury Note increased 36 bps to 4.59%.

The yield on the 5-Year US Treasury Note increased 37 bps to 4.21%. The yield on the 10-Year US Treasury Note increased 32 bps to 4.20%. The yield on the 30-Year US Treasury Bond increased 31 bps to 4.34%.

In terms of total returns, short-term US treasury bonds returned -0.05% while intermediate-term US treasury bonds returned -0.36%. Short-term corporate bonds returned +0.60% and intermediate-term corporate bonds returned +0.26%.1

The total returns for short- and intermediate-term municipal bonds were -0.19% and -0.52%, respectively. Within the municipal fixed income market, general obligation bonds returned -0.70% while revenue bonds returned -0.27%.2


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. Bloomberg US Treasury and US Corporate Bond Indices.
  2. Bloomberg Municipal Bond Index.