You can view the performance of the major asset classes and typical portfolio structures for the most recent period at the following link – Asset Classes and Portfolio Performance January 2019.
Please note that this information is usually updated by the 10th of each month.
An Asset Class represents a specific category of assets or investments, such as domestic and international shares, bonds, cash, and property. Assets within the same class generally exhibit similar characteristics, behave similarly in the marketplace, and are subject to the same laws and regulations.
Asset classes exist to provide structure to the vast array of financial instruments available in today’s market. Although no two shares are exactly the same (and some differ quite significantly from each other in terms of volatility, dividend yield, etc), most shares are sufficiently similar to each other, and are different enough from other financial instruments, that they are reasonably grouped together into the same asset class.
Investment Portfolios represent a combination of asset classes. Asset Classes tend to behave differently at different times and combining them together in a portfolio provides diversification benefits. These benefits are realised in the form of efficiency of return. In other words, it produces an increased return for any given level of risk, or reduced risk for any given level of returns.