Major Asset Classes August 2021 Performance Review

Overall, August was a mixed bag for the major asset classes, led by gains in US and emerging markets stocks. US and foreign real estate also posted solid advances.

Foreign bonds denominated in US dollars were the big losers. The deepest loss for the major asset classes last month: foreign investment-grade corporates, which shed 0.9%.

US bonds also lost ground in August. The Bloomberg Aggregate Bond Index slipped 0.2%, the first monthly decline for the benchmark since March.

The Global Market Index (GMI) continued to push higher in August. This unmanaged benchmark (maintained by, which holds all the major asset classes (except cash) in market-value weights, rose 1.8%—the seventh consecutive monthly increase. Year-to-date, GMI is up an impressive 12.0%. Indeed, just three of 15 asset classes listed above are posting a higher return so far in 2021.

Reviewing GMI relative to US stocks and bonds continues to show a strong middling performance over the trailing one-year period. GMI earned roughly two-thirds of the gain posted by US stocks with substantially less risk over the past 12 months. US bonds, by contrast, are flat for the trailing 12-month window.

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