As we have noted, the sell-off in investments has been broad based this year – with concerns over trade and interest rates pulling most assets – from bonds to stocks to oil, into negative territory for the year.
The sell-off has extended to two assets– crypto-currencies (think bitcoin) and high growth U.S. stocks – that for a time were viewed by some as impervious to setbacks and attractive regardless of valuation.
Bitcoin began the year trading at over $16,000 per bitcoin, as wild speculation at the end of 2017 drove it increasingly higher, with many purchasers assuming it would only go higher. Today, it traded for under $4,000, a drop of over 75% in less than a year.
Through the first half of 2018, the fastest growing large U.S. companies, many of which have very high price to earnings ratios, outperformed other U.S. stocks by close to 10%. Since then, these stocks, half of which are technology companies, a sector strongly impacted by the recent tariffs, have underperformed by over 10%. Investors in these stocks are now re-evaluating if the level of growth they assumed for these companies is justified and if not, if other more reasonably priced stocks are more attractive holdings.