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What are the assets with which you would have earned the most in 2019?

What are the assets with which you would have earned the most in 2019?


If in 2018 all asset classes were virtually a ruin, in 2019 you have the opposite. Thus, it has been a year of many geopolitical convulsions but where there has been a lack of opportunities to luster the portfolios. And some of the best investments have come precisely from the most unexpected corners of the market. 

It is well known that past returns do not guarantee future benefits. But it never hurts to know how investors have managed to get returns in a seemingly hostile environment, marked by the trade war between China and the United States, which has not begun to clear up until the end of the year, (and much remains to be negotiated) or the uncertainty associated with Brexit. Obviously, the main help has been received by investors from central banks, which have printed a more expansive turn to their monetary policies and have contributed to sustaining the stock market rally. 

“It has been fun mixing all this,” says Stephen Innes , chief market strategist for Asia at AxiTrader, in statements to Bloomberg. “In general, the trend has risen” and “simply playing reversals in all these massive problems has been very fruitful in virtually all assets and in all areas. It has been a good year on several fronts for all,” recalls this expert . To measure the size of the year, Bloomberg has calculated what they would have paid $ 10,000 invested at the beginning of the year in different asset classes, and these are the results. 

1.- Russian Stock Exchange

In a year in which the United States imposed several rounds of new sanctions on Russia and Moscow has had to deal with seven weeks of protests, the Russian equity market has had a better total return in terms of dollars, and its currency is the Second best in the whole world. The stability of oil prices has allowed the Central Bank of Russia to reduce interest rates five times. This factor has been key to the rebound, after the massive sales that occurred in 2018 and that many saw as excessive. 

Despite the winds against politicians, Russian companies “, in general terms, are in great shape,” says Fraser Lundie, chief credit officer at Hermes Investment Management . For many of them, such as commodity producers who have benefited from stability in the oil and currency markets, “things have rarely been better,” says this expert.

An investment in the Russian stock market of $ 10,000 would have produced somewhat less than $ 16,000 in the year.

2.- Greek bonds

Competing with Russia as the best stock market of the year is Greece, which began a turbulent decade with a financial crisis and a rescue of the International Monetary Fund, and now ends with an impressive rebound for both stocks and bonds.

The reforms in the country have begun to bear fruit and the far-left party Syriza has been defeated by the right center of New Democracy in the July elections. The credit of the European Central Bank has allowed the country to borrow at negative interest rates during October, and its 10-year government bond has been the most upturned to date, among the 19 main markets tracked by Bloomberg.

An investment in Greek bonds of $ 10,000 would have produced in the year just over $ 14,000

3.- Ukrainian currency

In the foreign exchange market, the best performance of the year among the more than 130 markets that Bloomberg covers has been in the Ukrainian currency, the hryvnia, which has experienced an unbroken period of stable appreciation in 2019. Of course this has occurred after three years of fluctuations of 10%, the result of the collapse of the currency after the Russian invasion of Crimea

A package of market-friendly reforms as part of an IMF-driven program has allowed the central bank to reduce interest rates, helping to boost economic growth. The market value of the country’s currency increased faster any other currency this year.

An investment in the Ukrainian hryvnia of $ 10,000 would have produced in the year just under $ 12,000.

4.- The Palladium, king of metals

In metals, this has been the year of Palladium, whose prices have skyrocketed more than 51% and exceed $ 2,000, a performance even better than that of gold.

“Palladium is a clear situation of limited supply that meets the greater demand of an automotive industry that has to produce better engines and more environmentally friendly,” said Ole Hansen, chief of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. “With the main demand coming from this sector, the price can potentially rise much more if the supply remains low.”

An investment in Palladium of $ 10,000 would have produced around $ 15,000 in the year.

5.- The “fake” meat fever

Finally, the year has been particularly bright for the actions linked to the fashion of “fake meat”, whose greatest exponent is the American Beyond Meat, which was released last May. The company opened on Wall Street at $ 25 per share and now its price is around $ 74, which represents a revaluation of 196%. But at the end of July, the titles exceeded $ 234, so whoever sold at that time could do so with a profit of 836%. 

Such has been the fever, that some companies with very limited offers of fake meat have been favored by this upward trend, as is the case of the Chinese firm  YanTai Shuangta Food , which has generated a 175% return.

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