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Investment Opportunities Abundant?

Some of us might trade stocks for fun. Others could be in equities for employment reasons i.e. stock options. But most of us are in stocks because we want to make money.

How much money do we want to make?

As much as possible of course.

You probably don’t want to bet on extremely risky investments. But you also likely want far more than a 10% return annually.

Investors, Get Used to Low Returns?

If that’s the case, brace yourself for some bad news. According to AMP’s Shane Oliver, investors might have to get used to low returns.

In a note to clients, Oliver said not to expect much more than 6.5% from local and global asset classes. That includes stocks, bonds and real estate.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review:

You can blame record low global interest rates for the lacklustre returns, even though the US Federal Reserve has been hiking its benchmark borrowing rate this year and is tipped to do so again next year.

Despite the prospect of higher interest rates around the world, they are still low by historical standards and that starting point suggests it’s going to be hard to generate a decent return over the next 12 months.

Combining growth and yield, Oliver has forecast a 7.5 per cent return from global shares, 7.6 per cent if you invest in emerging equities and 8.5 per cent, the highest return, for Asian equities ex Japan.

Unlisted infrastructure is tipped to return 8 per cent.

A further fall in investment yields across most major asset classes points to a constrained medium-term return outlook. For a diversified mix of assets, this has now fallen to around 6.5 per cent on our projections,’ Oliver said.

Gone are the days of double-digit returns? I doubt it.

Amazing Returns Still to Be Made in Stocks

While things aren’t looking the best for institutional investors, individual investors can still make amazing returns in the stock market.

Had you bought Qantas Airways Ltd [ASX:QAN] at the start of this year you would have made more than 80% on your money. Had you bought a2 Milk Company [ASX:A2M], you could have made more than 220% on your money.

I know I’m going for the low hanging fruit here. But there were many more opportunities like them that you could have jumped onto in 2017.

For institutional investors, returns like the above are beyond their wildest dreams. Without getting into too much detail, institutional investors are restricted by regulation, capital and agency problems to earn such high returns.

It’s why they more or less have to accept returns of 6.5%.

Of course, there are investment managers out there that can beat 6.5%. But it’s extremely hard to find these managers among the sea of underperformance.

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The Daily Reckoning's mission is to look at the investment world and the financial world in a sceptical and contrarian way. To do that day in and day out and tell you honestly what we see, even if it isn't always popular. If you'd like to subscribe to an alternative look at the mainstream interpretation of events, join for free here.



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