In this article you can discover the investment performance for 12 asset classes over various timeframes. For all asset classes there is data for 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 calendar years, and for most asset classes there is also data over 15 calendar years.
Note: A calendar year covers 1 January to 31 December, whereas a financial year covers 1 July to 30 June the following year. If you are looking for asset sector performance over financial years see SuperGuide article Asset sector performance: Returns over 1 to 15 financial years (to June 2020).
We are grateful to Chant West for providing this information because it can assist readers to better understand the short-term and long-term performance of different assets over time. This can help with the selection of investment options for your super fund or in determining your investment strategy if you have an SMSF.
In the tables below you can find asset sector performance over 1 to 15 years for the last 4 calendar years. Following that we have provided summary tables for each asset class.
Asset Sector Performance (Results to 31 December 2019)
The top performers over the last calendar year were International Shares (Unhedged 28%, Hedged 27.4%), Australian shares (23.8%), Global Listed Infrastructure (Hedged 24.2%), Global Listed Property (21.2%) and Australian Listed Property (19.6%). However, all asset classes produced positive returns with cash (1.5%) bringing up the rear.
Unlisted Infrastructure triumphed over the 5-year period, with an average return of 12.9% per year. Private Equity was second best performer over 5 years, with an average annual return of 12.7%, followed by International Shares (Unhedged)with an average annual return of 12.2%.
Over a 10-year period Private Equity and Global Listed Infrastructure (Hedged) were equal winners, achieving average annual returns of 12.7%. International Shares (Unhedged 12.3%) also performed strongly, followed by Unlisted Infrastructure (11.7%) and Australian Listed Listed Property (11.6%).
When looking over a 15-year period, Australian Shares is the winner with average annual returns of 7.9%, followed closely by International Shares (Unhedged 7.7%, Hedged 7.2%). However, there is only 15-year data available for 7 of the 12 asset classes.
|1 Yr (%)||3 Yrs (% pa)||5 Yrs (% pa)||7 Yrs (% pa)||10 Yrs (% pa)||15 Yrs (% pa)|
|International Shares (Hedged)||27.4||11.8||9.2||12.0||10.3||7.2|
|International Shares (Unhedged)||28.0||13.8||12.2||17.1||12.3||7.7|
|Australian Listed Property||19.6||9.5||11.2||12.7||11.6||4.9|
|Global Listed Property||21.2||8.0||6.8||9.3||10.7||–|
|Global Listed Infrastructure (Hedged)||24.2||11.8||9.2||12.8||12.7||–|
|International Bonds (Hedged)||7.2||4.1||4.2||4.8||6.3||6.5|
Source: Chant West
Note: The table shows the performance of all the main asset sectors over different time periods to the end of December 2019. Chant West have used market indices for all sectors other than private equity and infrastructure. For those sectors, for which no indices exist, they have used the returns of a major fund in our survey that are representative of those markets.
To see asset sector performance across for the past 5 calendar years and 4 financial years across various timeframes, see SuperGuide’s Asset Sector Performance Reckoner.