The United States, approximately 50% of the Index, returned 9.45% during the quarter. Israel, Finland and Germany were the top-performing countries, returning 17.67%, 13.23% and 12.65%, respectively. Japan, which makes up nearly 10% of the Index, returned 4.17%, while the United Kingdom, which also accounts for about 10% of the Index, returned 7.19%.
The fourth quarter saw solid gains for developed-market equities around the world, which significantly outpaced those in emerging markets. U.S. equities ended the year with another strong quarter, partly driven by positive market reaction to monetary and fiscal policy activity in Washington. The Federal Reserve's assurance of continued monetary stimulus boosted U.S. equities into the start of the fourth quarter. This positive performance was sustained through October despite a fiscal stalemate and a government shutdown. A temporary budget deal was reached late in October, and a longer-term budget agreement was reached in December, reducing fiscal uncertainty. Janet Yellen was nominated as the next Fed Chair, and her testimony before Congress assured markets that policy would remain appropriately accommodative.
If you are an investor who wants to invest in a broad, diversified set of large- and mid-cap developed global companies in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, that are selected based on sector ranking of environmental, social and government factors, you may find this Fund attractive.
- Seek to duplicate the investment composition and overall performance of the stocks included in the MSCI World ESG Index.
- The Index is a diversified, sector neutral global benchmark constructed using environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
- Sector and regional neutrality is designed to help the Index outperform other social responsibility and sustainability indices.