As the fourth quarter of 2018 began, it appeared trade policy would be the dominant headline for the remainder of the year – and for most of the quarter, it was. The narrative shifted on December 19th, however, following a unanimous vote by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and comments by the Fed Chairman stating that a slowing global economy and increased market volatility had "not fundamentally altered the outlook" for additional interest rate hikes. Throwing more fuel on the maelstrom of volatility was US President Trump’s tweet berating the economists at the Fed to, “feel the market, don’t just go by meaningless numbers,” and a private inquiry about his ability to remove the head of the US Federal Reserve System. Fears of an interest rate policy mistake by a Fed that may not be as independent as previously thought, coupled with lingering trade wars by a "shut down" government were enough to push an already nervous market down hard. The quarter ended with a true “December to Remember,” as the market posted its worst final month of the year since 1931.
The Saratoga Advantage Trust Growth Portfolio posted significant negative performance, though it was largely in line with its benchmarks. Growth stocks struggled while some Value names in traditionally defensive sectors like Consumer Staples and Health Care outperformed.Technology posted some of the worst returns while worries of too much oil drove down prices in the Energy sector.The portfolio’s underweight to certain defensive names in the Growth sector hurt performance, as did an underweight to banks and insurance companies. On the flip-side, an underweight to some of the sector’s previous high-flyers and several economically-sensitive semiconductor companies helped the portfolio add value in the Information Technology sector.
Information contained herein was obtained from recognized statistical services and other sources believed to be reliable and we therefore cannot make any representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Any statements not of a factual nature constitute opinions which are subject to change without notice.
Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Saratoga Advantage Trust mutual funds. This and other important information about the Saratoga Advantage Trust's funds is contained in the prospectus, which can be obtained by clicking here, or by calling (800) 807-FUND, and which should be read carefully before investing. The Saratoga Advantage Trust's funds are distributed by Northern Lights Distributors, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Saratoga Capital Management, LLC is not affiliated with Northern Lights Distributors, LLC. 1/19 © Saratoga Capital Management, LLC; All Rights Reserved.