MRM Commentary


Monthly Investment Commentary


    Markets Outlook

    Stocks rose globally on optimism that Chinese and U.S. officials made progress in negotiations that laid the groundwork for a truce on additional tariffs. Positive comments on the Brexit front added to the optimism, leading international developed-market stocks to record their biggest weekly rise in four months. We think reduced uncertainty can be a catalyst for improved returns in international equities, but we would also caution that trade negotiations are ongoing, and more twists and turns could prompt volatility, as they have in the past.

    MRM Group claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®).
    Please contact MRM Group to obtain a Compliant Presentation and/or MRM's list of Composite descriptions.

    MRM Portfolio

    Slower Growth but No Recession
    We don’t see a recession materializing in the coming year, extending this already longest-ever expansion through 2020. A healthy labor market and fresh stimulus from the Federal Reserve are key pillars of support, but trade, election and geopolitical uncertainties are increasing headwinds.

    Domestically, household debt levels remain elevated and housing investment continues to slow, which we think will dictate a slower pace of growth. We suspect the combination of impaired business confidence stemming from the U.S./China trade spat, along with the lagged effects of the Fed’s rate hikes will be on display as we enter 2020. However, lower corporate and household borrowing costs and further progress on trade negotiations make a case for sustained growth.

    International Outlook
    Overseas equities underperformed last quarter as trade tensions escalated, manufacturing activity contracted, and the U.S. dollar rose. Trade and other geopolitical uncertainties, including Brexit, are likely to keep volatility elevated, but we expect growth to stabilize and returns to improve.

    Global manufacturing activity continues to struggle in the face of weaker global trade and shaken business confidence, with export-reliant economies such as Germany the most affected. Positively, most major economies are experiencing better trends in their services sectors and tight labor markets, which reassures us the global economy is not likely headed into a recession. Headwinds remain, but we believe any de-escalation in trade tensions could be a catalyst for a rebound in international equities also.


    Tariff tensions, geopolitical challenges such as Brexit, and tepid global growth pose challenges for equity returns. An impeachment inquiry in the U.S. adds to the headline risk that may, at times, unsettle investor sentiment. However, history shows that economic and corporate conditions, not politics, are what matter most for long-term stock performance.

    Source: Kourkafas

    MRM model holdings as of September 30, 2019



    MRM Group, Inc. ("MRM") is an SEC registered investment advisor and an independent management firm that is not affiliated with any parent organization. Using quantitative selection methods, each MRM strategy searches within a well-defined universe of securities, using consistent investment criteria to identify attractive investments and create diversified portfolios. MRM seeks to provide long-term capital growth by generating above-market returns, protecting principal and managing volatility.


    The portfolios do NOT use inverse or leveraged ETFs. Universe vehicles may change, from time to time, when approved by the principal of MRM Group at its sole discretion.


    The S&P 500 Index with dividends is an unmanaged composite of 500 large-capitalization companies whose data is obtained from the Standard & Poor's website. S&P 500 is a registered trademark of McGraw-Hill, Inc. The MSCI EAFE Gross Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada, with data from the MSCI website using price with reinvestment of dividends. The performance of blended benchmarks is shown for comparison because MRM uses securities which track indices related to these products. An investment cannot be made directly into an index.


    MRM Group claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®). MRM has been independently verified for the periods January 1, 2008 through present. The verification report is available upon request. Verification assesses whether (1) MRM has complied with all the composite construction requirements of the GIPS standards on a firm-wide basis and (2) MRM's policies and procedures are designed to calculate the present performance in compliance with the GIPS standards. Verification does not ensure the accuracy of any specific composite presentation.

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