Despite the turbulence investors encountered throughout the year due to lingering problems in Europe and political wrangling in the US, asset class returns in 2012 turned out to be quite satisfactory. Bonds provided modest, low single-digit returns. Canadian stocks also provided modest, high single-digit returns. Foreign stocks had a banner year with returns from the United States, Developed Markets excluding North America and Emerging Markets all in the mid-teens despite the Canadian dollar appreciating modestly against the US Dollar.
REITs had another fantastic year returning 17 percent and extending the 24 percent, 22 percent and 55 percent win streak of the pervious years. One wonders how long the good times are going to last.
|Asset Class||2012 Returns|
|DEX Universe Bond Index||3.60%|
|DEX Short Term Bond Index||2.01%|
|DEX Real Return Bond Index||2.85%|
| || |
| || |
|S&P 500 (in CAD)||13.49%|
|MSCI EAFE (in CAD)||14.78%|
|MSCI Emerging Markets (in CAD)||15.66%|
If you are interested in asset class returns for previous years, Norbert Schlenker of Libra Investments maintains a spreadsheet of total returns for various asset classes going back to 1970.
Sources: Bank of Canada, PC Bond Analytics, MSCI Barra and S&P Dow Jones Indices.
PS: Note that percentage returns are inclusive of dividend or interest or distributions.