It's been hard for investors to back a loser over the past 2 years

It was hard for investors back a loser in 2017, much like it was a year earlier.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the graphic below from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).

Source: BAML

Known as the “Asset Class Quilt of Total Returns”, it reveals that after all asset classes delivered positive nominal returns in 2016, the same outcome occurred in 2017.

Stocks ripped higher, gold was bid and real estate investment trusts and global high-yield bond ETFs both delivered returns in excess of 10%.

Cash, at 0.8%, delivered the weakest return of those on the quilt, narrowly beating out US treasuries which returned 2.4%.

Following such a solid run over the past two years — particularly for stocks — the only question now is whether the broad-based gains will be repeated in 2018?

After rallying hard in 2014 and early 2015, much to the detriment of other asset classes, one suspects changes in the US dollar will prove to be influential once again.

As the greenback weakened in 2017, it undoubtedly assisted other asset classes, especially those dominated in US dollar terms.

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