U.S. stocks advanced in the second quarter of 2016, recovering from a global sell-off at the end of June following the UK's vote to leave the European Union. Emerging markets stocks edged higher, but stocks in developed international markets fell amid tepid economic growth and post-Brexit volatility. In fixed income, long-term Treasuries, and corporate bonds did best among investment-grade issues. High yield bonds performed well as credit spreads narrowed and energy and metals and mining issues rallied. Non-U.S. developed markets bonds produced solid gains, as did emerging markets debt. Prices for oil and other commodities rebounded as concerns about a global oil glut receded and China, a top commodities consumer, stepped up efforts to support growth.
The Personal Strategy Balanced Fund returned 1.68% in the quarter compared with 1.71% for the Combined Index Portfolio* and 2.15% for the Lipper Mixed-Asset Target Allocation Moderate Funds Index. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2016, the fund returned 0.05% versus 1.09% for the Combined Index Portfolio* and 0.51% for the Lipper Mixed-Asset Target Allocation Moderate Funds Index. The fund's average annual total returns were 0.05%, 6.96%, and 6.37% for the 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods, respectively, as of June 30, 2016. The fund's expense ratio was 0.84% as of its fiscal year ended May 31, 2015.
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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 Personal Strategy Funds have the ability to overweight or underweight allocations to different asset classes based on the views of the T. Rowe Price Asset Allocation Committee. Several years of strong performance have reduced the number of compelling investment opportunities, with valuations at or above fair value in many asset classes. Given current valuation levels as well as economic, market, and geopolitical uncertainties, we are positioned near neutral across several market segments, though we are still finding opportunities in select areas. As of June 30, 2016, we are neutral between stocks and bonds. We favor international over U.S. stocks but reduced our international stocks overweight to reflect our reduced global growth expectations and its impact on earnings growth. In fixed income, we recently pared our high yield bonds allocation to neutral after a rally in high yield fueled by the commodities upswing. We are currently neutral between emerging markets and U.S. investment-grade bonds.
Our global growth expectations remain modest over the next several quarters. The U.S. and other developed market economies are expanding at a modest pace, while major emerging economies are grappling with weak growth spurred by China's deceleration. Monetary policy across the globe is showing more divergence as the Fed draws closer to normalizing interest rates, while central banks in Europe and Japan continue to implement aggressive easing programs. Risks to our global outlook include the effects of global monetary policy actions, heightened currency volatility, and political uncertainty in countries that were already struggling with flagging growth. The uneven nature of the global economy reinforces the value of the Personal Strategy Funds' broadly diversified holdings.