What was the best performing investment asset class in 2019?

The attached chart shows the best performing investment asset class every year from 1991 to 2019. As the table shows 2019 was a very good year for all asset classes except for cash which won’t surprise anyone given the low interest rate environment we are in. Share markets and listed property provided exceptional returns for investors with exposure to those assets.

While it is very difficult (some say impossible) to predict what future returns will be it would be a surprise if the share market and listed property returns of 2019 are repeated in 2020.

What the table also shows is the best performing asset over one year is unlikely to be the best performer a year later and since 1991 cash has only been the best performing investment just once in 1994, although cash is the only asset to have a positive return every year.

While I am not going to make any bold predictions for what will happen in 2020 our key investment principals of staying diversified, investing in high quality investments and taking a medium to long term approach to investing remain unchanged.

Click here to download the table 2019 NZ asset class board