In One Chart: Why 2018 has been the worst year ever, according to one metric

Havens? What havens?

If you emerge from this year mostly unscathed, count your blessings, because unless things change in a hurry, 2018 is about to make a dubious mark on history.

This chart pretty much tells the story:

As that illustration shows, 90% of the 70 asset classes tracked by Deutsche Bank and cited in the Wall Street Journal are on track to post negative returns for the year. The previous high was in 1920, when 84% of 37 asset classes were negative.

For some perspective, only 1% of asset classes delivered negative returns during last year’s ferocious bull market.

What a difference a year makes.

Drilling down into the anomalies, stocks and bonds could both finish the year lower for the first time in at least a quarter-century, according to BlackRock

BLK, +2.90%

And while Treasurys

TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.84%

 and gold

GCZ8, -0.04%

typica havens, did manage to rally in the face of October’s equity drop, both are still down for the year.

Not much relief for investors overseas, either, with major indexes in Europe

SXXP, +1.23%


SHCOMP, -0.14%

 and South Korea

SEU, +1.24%

 all off 10% or more from their recent highs.


CLF9, +2.30%

 is also getting hit, as is bitcoin

BTCUSD, -10.96%

There is still more than a month to go for things to turn around, and Monday’s upbeat session looks to be a step in the right direction for bulls as the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +1.43%

 and the SP 500

SPX, +1.54%

 were both up more than 1% at last check.

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Shawn Langlois is an editor and writer for MarketWatch in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @slangwise.

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