U.S. stocks gained in the quarter, but volatility was high amid overseas terrorist attacks, geopolitical instability, and uncertainty over monetary policies in the U.S. and abroad. Terror attacks, as well as concerns about tepid economic growth and smaller-than-expected monetary stimulus measures, weighed on sentiment in Europe, while Japan's market surged higher on positive economic data. Emerging markets stocks rose, but the environment remained muted due to commodities weakness and slowing global growth.
The Spectrum International Fund returned 3.40% in the quarter compared with 3.30% for the MSCI All Country World Index ex USA and 4.60% for the Lipper International Multi-Cap Growth Funds Average. For the 12 months ended December 31, 2015, the fund returned −1.39% versus −5.25% for the MSCI All Country World Index ex USA and 0.51% for the Lipper International Multi-Cap Growth Funds Average. The fund's average annual total returns were −1.39%, 3.56%, and 4.08% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of December 31, 2015. The fund's expense ratio was 0.94% as of its fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.
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Current performance may be lower or higher than the quoted past performance, which cannot guarantee future results.
Share price, principal value, and return will vary and you may have a gain or loss when you sell your shares.
The Spectrum International Fund charges a 2%
redemption fee on shares held 90 days or less.
The performance information shown does not reflect the deduction of the redemption fee;
if it did, the performance would be lower.
Our portfolio of larger, more established international stocks proved to be the biggest contributor to performance during the period. Stock selection in the information technology, telecommunication services, and consumer staples sectors generated the strongest fourth-quarter relative performance contributions. Stocks in Asia and Japan also benefited performance. Exposure to equities in Europe generally detracted from overall results, with weakness among our energy, utilities, and consumer staples exposure.
The U.S. economy grew at a 2.0% annualized rate in the third quarter, supported by resilient consumer spending. Weaker global growth and a stronger dollar are likely to weigh on business inventory spending and exports, but expansionary fiscal spending should support growth in 2016. European economic growth is modest, supported by accommodative monetary policies, low energy prices, and reduced fiscal headwinds. Japan's economy narrowly avoided a recession last year, but growth remains uneven and somewhat fragile. There is considerable disparity among emerging markets. Many commodity exporters will continue to feel the pain of weak oil and materials prices, while net commodity consumers should be in better shape.