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Asset Class

Each asset class has different characteristics and offer different level of risks and return


Money held in the bank more secure than any other asset class but return poor over the long term.


Bonds are debt investments in which investors loan money to companies or government in return for a fixed and pre-agreed regular return (coupon) for an agreed period of time. The riskiness of a bond will depend on the issuer capability to return back the capital. High-risk issuer usually offer more attractive coupon. At maturity the investor will get back the initial value of the bond. The price of a bond will depend on the interest rates and inflation expectations and the credit quality of the issuer which may evolve through the lifetime of the bond. Depending on the sophistication of the countries, bonds can be traded on a stock exchange else investors have to wait till the maturity of the bond to get back his capital. In contrast to equities, bonds are less volatile and offer to investors a regular income. They are considered to be lower risk than equities hence deliver lower returns.


Equities are shares issued by companies and are traded on stock exchange. Equities make an investor become a shareholder of the company. An equity holder makes his returns in two ways - capital growth when the share price rises in the market or through dividends received from the company. However neither of these returns is guaranteed as the share price may fall below the purchase of your investments and the company may not pay dividend. Nevertheless they tend to produce superior returns than bonds in the long term but are riskier as in the event that a company has financial difficulty, bondholders rank ahead of equity holders when remaining cash is being distributed. Superior returns is explained by the fact that unlike bonds which mature at the same price it was issued, share prices usually rise significantly as a company grows. Share prices are usually influenced by company profits and dividends expectations, economic environment and investor sentiment.


Commodities are raw materials used to produce goods in our economy.  The key areas are: 
  • Energy- e.g. oil, natural gas
  • Base metals - e.g. aluminium, copper
  • Precious metals - e.g. gold, silver
  • Agricultural commodities - e.g. livestock, coffee, grains 
The prices of these commodities are affected by supply, global economic growth, and inflationary concerns. They tend to be uncorrelated to bonds and equities but remain a very volatile asset class. Commodities are directly linked to current economic environment, natural disasters and are difficult to predict.


Property has low correlation to other asset class and allows the investor to have a regular level of income from rental and benefit from long term capital appreciation of property.  Investment in property can be done either by investing directly into property or through Real-Estate Investment Trusts.

Private Equity

Private equity provides access to equities not listed on stock exchange.  Private equity investors identify turn around opportunities or companies with the potential for rapid growth and investing in them in their embryonic stage for rapid growth and higher potential return than company listed on the stock exchange.  Due to the fact that private equity investors invest in start-up or young companies or those undergoing restructuring there is a potential that these companies will not survive and therefore is a much riskier investment then established companies.  Investors may not recover their investment in some investments.