Real estate trusts do well

MARIA BEKIARIS

Asset class index returns

SOURCE: MORNINGSTAR DIRECT

Australian real estate investment trusts (AREITs) were by far the best-performing asset class of 2012, recording an impressive 32.99% return, followed by global REITs and then Australian shares (see chart) in what senior research analyst at Morningstar, Julian Robertson, describes as a “stellar year for most traditional growth assets”.

Robertson says key themes running through the markets last year included the hunt for income-producing investments and investors seeking perceived quality and “safety” in sectors such as healthcare, telecommunications and financials.

“In a slow-growth, low-interest-rate and still heavily indebted environment, many of these themes may persist, but investors will need to remain mindful of the associated risks,” says Robertson.

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