Welcome to our latest investment commentary. This edition will cover the first quarter of 2024 and the outlook for the remainder of the year.


We are pleased to report that the rally which commenced towards the end of October 2023 has continued into this year, with all portfolios delivering positive returns in 2024 thus far.

Reflecting on our previous market commentary issued in January of this year:

“In our preceding quarterly commentary, we expressed optimism about the conditions favouring a positive year-end, and this optimism materialized, surpassing our expectations. As we enter the current quarter, we anticipate the markets to pause, consolidate, and reassess before resuming an upward trajectory, based on our analysis.”

The beginning of 2024 unfolded precisely as expected, with markets undergoing a period of consolidation and adjustment to more realistic expectations. While much of January witnessed a correction as markets retraced some gains from Q4 2023, the subsequent resurgence in market momentum has been encouraging.

The hype surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) has continued to gain momentum, with associated companies such as Nvidia continuing to see substantial share price appreciation. It has been encouraging to see other parts of the markets beginning to participate too, with Chinese equities recovering and the FTSE 100 moving to within a whisker of an all time high.

The downward trajectory of inflation stalled somewhat in the US over the past few months, leading to a divergence in asset class performance. Despite this, equity and corporate bond markets, buoyed by AI fervor and other thematic trends, shrugged off inflation concerns and maintained an upward trajectory. However, government bonds reflected shifting inflation narratives, with yields rising and prices declining.

Gold emerged as a strong performer, reaching multiple new highs over the quarter, reaffirming our positive outlook on the precious metal. In response to the AI-driven rally, we took a proactive approach to managing risk by reducing our exposure to certain sectors in February.

Market Performance

Equities were the standout performers over the quarter, with notable contributions from Japanese and US markets. AI excitement, diminishing US recession risks and the pervasive fear of missing out (FOMO) were some of the key drivers. Despite persistent inflationary concerns in the US, exacerbated by rallying oil prices, our portfolios benefited from the strength of the US equity markets, constituting our largest equity allocation.

With regard to bonds, corporate bonds continued their grind higher, fuelled by robust demand stemming from attractive yields and dwindling supply. Therefore, they too remained sanguine about the more stubborn inflationary backdrop. Conversely, government bonds reacted to evolving dynamics, with yields rising and prices declining.

Commodities in general had a much better quarter, following a more difficult 2023. Gold and Oil were particularly strong, with Brent Crude hitting approximately $87 by the end of the quarter. Gold continued its run from last year, hitting a new all time high of $2,250 by the end of the quarter and has since continued higher. We have held physical Gold in many of our portfolios since 2019, when it was trading around $1,300.

The diversification across our portfolio exposures continued to prove advantageous.

Inflation & Central Banks

Despite significant progress in falling inflation data over the past 20 months, US inflation data has plateaued in 2024, contrasting with the continued downward trend in European and UK inflation. This has raised questions around interest rate policy from the US Federal Reserve. At the end of 2023, they had signalled the potential for three interest rate cuts in 2024. Their most recent messaging suggests this hasn’t changed and that they are not yet concerned with the inflation data. We have previously said that whilst 2023 was dogged by market expectations around when interest rates will stop rising, markets will be grappling between how many interest rate cuts we could see in 2024. This has been playing out so far and we expect it will continue, potentially leading to renewed volatility.

We have spoken about the potential for higher inflation, or a reacceleration, at some stage in the short to medium term. Recent events have solidified our views. One of the reasons we gave in our previous note was the potential for the oil price to rise. Indeed, it has risen 15% over the quarter and we believe the dynamics are such that the oil price could continue to climb this year. Other reasons include a better than expected US economy, an easing in financial conditions due to the rally seen in markets and improving Chinese economic data. If the US Fed then cut interest rates, this could add further fuel to the idea.

We have identified the investment ideas we wish to introduce to portfolios, to hedge against such an outcome, but continue to wait for a more optimal entry point. We expect to begin introducing these new ideas over the coming month.

We have identified investment strategies to hedge against such scenarios but await optimal entry points before implementation. Our focus remains on higher-quality, large-cap companies, while we cautiously rotate out of overvalued segments of the market.


We have covered the risk of a US recession in a number of previous notes but with the risks subsiding for now, we believe it’s worth mentioning the building Geopolitical issues.

The tensions between the US and China have been well documented across an array of media outlets. There is bi-partisan support for the US to take a tougher stance on the rise of China and with the potential for another Trump presidency, this is likely to intensify in the years ahead. A key outcome of this shift has been the deglobalisation of trade which is another inflationary factor to consider over the short to medium term.

The Middle East has also emerged as a focal point of geopolitical concern, with the potential for broader regional involvement if tensions escalate further. We are monitoring these events closely and have maintained and enhanced our protective strategies where possible, to protect the portfolios in case of any less favourable outcomes.


Some points to note around our thinking moving forwards, which generally follow the comments in our previous updates:

  • With pockets of the equity markets seeing excess levels of exuberance, in our opinion, we have been looking at ways to reduce the overall valuation of the portfolios. We tend to go against the herd during such times.
  • We are maintaining our exposures to the Government bond markets, which can act as an effective hedge against equity market volatility. We expect these investments to perform for us during 2024, and possibly into 2025, at which point we will look to sell them in favour of other alternative strategies.
  • Outside of Government Bonds, we have maintained our exposure to short-dated investment grade bonds, which are the safest corporate bonds to invest in. The yields remain attractive and this part of the bond markets has continued to perform well.
  • Acknowledging the importance of diversification in the current market environment, we await opportunities to implement strategies focused on energy and gold. These additions will further enhance portfolio resilience and mitigate risk exposure.
  • In terms of our equity allocations, our largest equity exposure remains towards US markets however, we are maintaining good allocations to other markets such as Asia which have started to participate in the market rally.
  • Given the ongoing war in Ukraine, we maintain no direct exposure to Europe at present. However, select exposures through global funds are allocated to high-quality international companies. Similarly, while we recognize the longer-term potential of Japan, excessive levels of optimism in the short term prompt us to wait for a suitable entry point into a direct holding.
  • Our UK exposure is likely to remain constant, with most of the allocation in large, international FTSE businesses which is complimented by a smaller amount UK smaller company exposure. We are monitoring this and believe an opportunity will come along this year to add to our smaller companies.
  • We continue to hold a reasonable amount of Asian equities , where valuations remain compelling and they generally do not face the same inflation/interest rate policy headwinds. Whilst sentiment towards China has been weak, we believe this will turn around at some stage. We would not be surprised if China outperforms this year and have maintained our exposures.

You should note that when we see signs of improvement and the potential for interest rates to fall, we are likely to increase our risk levels and focus on areas that typically do well during the recovery periods such as Financials, Industrials and Materials businesses.


We are pleased with the ongoing performance of the portfolios and continue to monitor the fast-changing developments. We are patiently waiting to see how things play out and hope to implement our investments in energy and Gold soon.

We will continue to look for new opportunities for the portfolios whilst trying to navigate the environment the best we can.

We hope you find this review informative and look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions.


We made some changes during the quarter. A full account of the changes can be found below:



Mo & Tommy

And lastly, we recently held our quarterly investment webinar and are delighted to have been joined by John Mullins, who is an Investment Director at Wellington Management.

We discussed the current macroeconomic landscape and the anticipated interest rate cuts. Additionally, we provided insights into the previous quarter, analysing market drivers and sharing our strategies for portfolio management in the year ahead. This was followed by a Q&A session.

If you were unable to join us, or you would like to revisit what was discussed, please click on the image below:-

Investment Webinar


Our webinars are produced for information purposes only and do not constitute financial advice.



We hope you find this review informative and I look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions.


IMPORTANT: This publication has been prepared for information purposes only by Carrington Investment Consultants Ltd. The value of investments, and any income generated from them, will be affected by interest rates, exchange rates, general market conditions and other political, social and economic developments, as well as by specific matters relating to the assets in which it invests. Investors should be aware that the value of units may well fall as well as rise, is not guaranteed and that past performance is not a guide to future performance. Different funds carry different levels of risk and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Carrington Wealth Management is a trading style of Carrington Investment Consultants Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: One Chapel Place, London W1G 0BG. Registered in England, number 3193939. This email and any accompanying documents contain confidential information intended for a specific individual which is private and protected by law. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of this information is strictly prohibited. You are also requested to advise us immediately if you receive information which is not addressed to you.  Data Source: Financial Express. Copyright © Carrington Wealth Management. All rights reserved.