Balancing growth, diversification, downside risk and liquidity

Investors today face a conundrum: how should they pursue future capital growth while maintaining diversification and seeking to limit downside risk, given current market valuations? Wellington Management’s Evan Grace looks at the options that investors can take in a multi-asset portfolio 

Investing in the traditional asset classes – stocks and bonds – is today fraught with challenges.

Equity markets remain buoyant but are starting to look stretched on valuation measures, implying a potentially muted future return profile. Bonds have a mediocre to negative return profile, given the tremendous yield compression they have experienced since the onset of the global financial crisis. An asset class such as commodities can generate significant returns in certain environments but should theoretically provide only a cash-like return in other periods. And with interest rates globally still mired at multi-decade lows, the returns on cash currently lag inflation in many countries. So what can investors do to attempt to generate capital growth in the future? Should they look to alternatives such as illiquid assets?

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