Equities (mostly) busted out: Monetary easing by central banks worldwide continued to push equity markets higher in developed economies. The MSCI World index returned 27.5% for the year, vs. -2.4% for its emerging markets index.
Rising rates lifted some boats: While increasing interest rates helped boost corporate pension funding levels, fixed-income investors took a hit during the year.
Gold tarnished: Publicly traded real assets were hurt by rising rates and the prospect of an improving economy. Gold fell the most since 1981.
Year of the yen: The Japanese yen saw its biggest drop vs. the dollar since 1979 as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enacted policies to reach a 2% inflation goal.
Sources: Bloomberg LP; Bank for International Settlements
Compiled and designed by Timothy Pollard and Gregg A. Runburg