The idea of a “connected world” has taken many forms over several millennia. In the 4th century BC, trade between regions of Asia and parts of Europe and Africa expanded considerably, connecting foods, cultures, fabrics, metals and fragrances across three formerly detached continents. When Spain and Portugal became interested in finding a direct sea route to Asia in the 15th century, the known world expanded, and the Eastern and Western hemispheres were suddenly linked.
Financial markets have been breathtakingly strong so far in 2019. In fact, it’s been the best start for the US stock market since 1992, with the S&P 500 posting a 13.1% total return through mid-March. Another impressive stat is that the NASDAQ began the year with nine straight up weeks – a feat not seen since 1964. International stocks, corporate bonds, REITs, and midstream energy assets have also posted remarkable returns.