In late 2017 and at the start of this year, synchronized global growth was the story.  Some stresses in that synchronized growth trend appear to be in place lately.  Some central banks are raising interest rates and tightening policy, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of Canada.  As a result, you're starting to see certain areas of the world grow better than others.

Growth remains strong in the U.S., with the strength of the greenback putting pressure on other areas.  Turkey and Argentina, for example, have seen their currencies devalued and inflation soar.  Argentina accepted a $50-billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund in June.

China's currency has also suffered with its stock market dropping more than 20% since the highs of this year.  Some of the broad emerging market indexes have sold off more than 10%.

Global trade tensions have played a role, with tariffs, both threatened and imposed, creating another volatility-inducing headline.  For the most part, markets have reacted and then pushed that concern aside.  While some of the concerns about tariffs are significant, the longer-term impacts tend to be muted.  When we go company by company, the impacts are far less severe than the stock price reactions have been.  Some companies even benefit from tariffs due to their geographic location.

Inflationary pressure will be on the radar of markets and investors in the short term.  Those pressures could exacerbate a situation for financial assets that could already be difficult due to the Fed raising interest rates.  If you see higher inflationary pressures, that further increases the likelihood of more interest rate increases, which puts pressure on asset prices.

Having exposure to emerging markets is beneficial, but it's useful to offset that exposure by having some low risk equity investments or some fixed income.