After market volatility hit in the fourth quarter of 2018, Envestnet | PMC decided to look at the first four months of 2019 to see how many of the 96,000 advisors on its platform had readjusted their portfolios. The answer: Not that many, but some made surprising moves.

One interesting finding was that there wasn’t a lot of growth in large-cap and S&P 500 type of investments, “which was good,” Brooks Friederich, director of research strategy for Envestnet | PMC, told ThinkAdvisor. He explained that overweighting of large-cap domestic and growth investment has been the usual case in this cycle.

“That was a little surprising,” he said. “And a good surprise. They aren’t performance chasing, they aren’t just continuing to own domestic large-cap, but [instead] building and managing diversified portfolios.”

One style of investment that didn’t do well was liquid alternatives, which showed the largest outflow of advisors. Friederich said that wasn’t such a surprise as those products, which include managed futures, global macro, equity market neutral, leveraged and inverse, had “subpar” performance.

Not all alternatives lost advisors as mergers & acquisitions, commodities and REITs were in the top 10 investment style gainers. The interest rate spectrum, from long bonds to short munis, gained as well as foreign small-mid cap value and core.

“Having just come through a turbulent time in the markets in Q4 2018 and judging by the investment shifts advisors made thus far in 2019, advisors are seemingly more cautious as to where they are investing client assets, seeking perhaps investment styles that are not as affected by or inversely correlated with the market swings,” the Envestnet report concluded.

Top 10 Investment Styles With Largest Percentage Increase in Advisor Usage (All Portfolios: 1/1/19-4/3019)

 

Top 8 Investment Styles With Largest Percentage Decrease in Advisor Usage (All Portfolios: 1/1/19-4/30/19)

Source: ENV Analytics

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