From October 3, 2011 to May 15, 2015, investors experienced an ebullient appreciation of US equity markets in excess of a 20% annualized compound growth rate, irrespective of capitalization or style.
In fact, the traditional "size and style" factors, which normally explain much of asset manager outperformance, not only failed to explain outperformance, but also showed little difference in risk / return dynamics.
broad equity subclass performance: 10/2011 - 5/2015
During this same time period however, there was no worse place to be than Emerging Market equities. Having more volatility than any other broad equity class and and a paltry 8.6% annualized return, Foreign Emerging equities fell short of their once lofty promise as the global engine of growth (and price appreciation).
This may, however, be changing. The market found its bottom on September 29th and for the past month, Foreign Emerging Markets have soared. Unlike the prior 3.5 years, investors were handsomely rewarded for taking on excess risk in the form of foreign economic maturity, returning nearly twice the premium of Mid and Small Cap US equities.
US equities, however, appear to have maintained their agnosticism to size & style. US Large Cap equities have appreciated more than 10%, and much like the prior 3.5 year increase, increased volatility seems to be the only reward for investors willing to hold companies of smaller capitalization.
Recent one month recovery 3.5 year Bull Market '11 - '15