Global Balanced portfolio outlook, positioning, and attribution as of 3/31/2022

March 31, 2022


  • We see continuing cyclical progression toward a healthy-but-slower-growth economic expansion, driven by a mix of consumer and business strength.
  • Economic and geopolitical risks have increased over the past quarter, including elevated inflation, tightening monetary policy, and spiking oil prices tied to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but we do not expect these issues to derail economic growth in 2022.
  • We expect earnings growth to vary significantly across U.S. sectors in 2022, as is typical during economic transitions, and we believe sector allocation will be key to investment outcomes in the coming quarters.
  • Internationally, we believe the deceleration in global economic growth is likely to favor developed markets over emerging markets, but Europe faces distinct economic risks from the Ukraine invasion, given its dependence on Russian energy.
  • In Fixed Income markets, we continue to see a relatively poor risk/return profile, particularly for Treasury bonds, which offer low absolute yields, but we see a low risk of default for corporate bonds, given the current strength of corporate profits and balance sheets.

Portfolio Positioning

  • Given our outlook for continued expansion, we remain overweight equities, including an overweight of the U.S., where we have moved to an overweight of Information Technology and maintain an overweight to Communication Services, sectors which we expect will see less deceleration in revenue and earnings growth than more cyclical sectors.
  • We have eliminated U.S. Industrials exposure, but maintain an allocation to U.S. Energy, while avoiding more defensive U.S. equity sectors such as Utilities and Consumer Staples.
  • Internationally, we remain underweight Europe and Emerging Asia equities, but overweight Developed Asia, where we see greater near-term economic upside.
  • Within fixed income, we have taken advantage of wider corporate spreads by shifting exposures from intermediate Treasury bonds to short-term high-yield credit, while also extending the duration of investment-grade corporate bond exposure, though we retain a shorter duration than the benchmark.

Q1 Attribution

Positive Contributors:


  • U.S. Information Technology Equities


  • Long-Term Fixed Income
  • Europe Equities
  • Emerging Asia Equities

Negative Contributors:


  • Investment Grade Corporate Bonds


  • North America ex-U.S. Equities
  • U.S. Consumer Staples Equities
  • U.S. Utilities Equities

Attribution Analysis is relative to the Global Balanced benchmark and was current as of the date specified in this presentation. A complete attribution report is available upon request.

The most recent complete presentation can be viewed here.

Any portfolio characteristics, including position sizes and sector allocations among others, are generally averages and are for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect the investments of an actual portfolio unless otherwise noted. The investment guidelines of an actual portfolio may permit or restrict investments that are materially different in size, nature and risk from those shown. The investment processes, research processes or risk processes shown herein are for informational purposes to demonstrate an overview of the process. Such processes may differ by product, client mandate or market conditions. Portfolios that are concentrated in a specific sector or industry may be subject to a higher degree of market risk than a portfolio whose investments are more diversified.

Holdings, Sector Weightings and Portfolio Characteristics were current as of the date specified in this presentation. The listing of particular securities should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell these securities. While these securities were among WestEnd Advisors’ Global Balanced holdings at the time this material was assembled, holdings will change over time. There can be no assurance that the securities remain in the portfolio or that other securities have not been purchased. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or will equal the performance of the securities presently in the portfolio. Individual clients’ portfolios may vary. Upon request, WestEnd Advisors will provide a list of all recommendations for the prior year.

Portfolio outlook, positioning, and attribution
Portfolio positioning intra-quarter
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