Global equities enjoy strongest year since 2013

Latest research shows international equity assets turned in their best annual performance since 2013, as most asset classes managed to put a few tough years behind them in 2019.

According to new Morningstar research, annual asset class returns on a calendar year basis were up across almost the entire board, with international and Australian equities performing best thanks to returns of 28% and 23.4% over 2019.

The numbers demonstrate a significant improvement for both asset classes on their 2018 figures, with international equities returning just 1.5% over the year, and Australian equities hitting negative territory at -2.8%.

Small caps also executed a strong turnaround, returning 21.4% in 2019 compared to -8.7% the year before.

Australian listed property performed too, turning in its best calendar year since 2014 at 19.6%, while both Australian and international fixed interest performed well at 7.3% and 7.2% respectively.

Cash finished last in Morningstar's list of asset classes, returning 1.3%, down 0.6 percentage points on its 2018 figures.

Separately, research released by Rainmaker last week shows geared super funds also enjoyed a stellar 2019, thanks in part to the bull run in financial markets which also powered the returns Morningstar outlined.

According to the research, the top 10 geared retirement and superannuation funds achieved returns in excess of 50% in the 12 months to November 2019, which prompted Rainmaker head of superannuation research Jason Ross to label the results "fairly spectacular".

Read more: MorningstarRainmakerCashJason Ross
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