Thursday, 8 November 2012

My thoughts on asset classes (3: Equities)

This is probably the asset class i've had the least experience or success with, although history suggests its a good long term way of building wealth.

I've been passively holding equities in pension funds for the past 8 years, but haven't been particularly active in the markets other than that, apart from a few short-term speculative positions.  The advantages are fairly clear, with both capital gains & yields available that have the potential to exceed anything possible in bonds or cash. The downsides include volatility, the risk of corporate failures or under-performance, and given the volatility of the last decade, the need for a strong stomach and cool head.

I think managing a portfolio of directly held individual equities takes a lot of time & research to do well. This is why ETFs appeal to me, offering diversification and market targeting, with relatively low costs.  I have recently started building positions in a few different ETFs.  

Similarly to property, i also view equities as a good means of protection against inflation, and a potential source of income in retirement.  I expect Property & Equities to form the basis of the my investment plans for the coming years.

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