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Best and worst asset classes in 2021

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Photo: iStock

A diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and physical assets is key to steering through every market condition. Such a portfolio may not deliver the highest return in any given year but will perform competitively across market cycles

The table ranks 10 asset classes in order of their return performance—from the highest to lowest—for each calendar year in the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. For example, mid-caps delivered 38.52% in 2012 and small-caps gave a return of 36.45% in the same year. The absence of any pattern in the returns of asset classes from one year to the next reinforces the importance of asset allocation to build a portfolio against trying to consistently predict the next winning asset class. A diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and physical assets is key to steering through every market condition. Such a portfolio may not deliver the highest return in any given year but will perform competitively across market cycles.

The asset allocation quilt
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The asset allocation quilt
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