Schwab Asset Class Quilt 2018

The performance of various asset classes vary in any given year. For example, bonds earned higher returns than stocks during the dark periods of Global Financial Crisis(GFC) in 2008 and 2009. Similar to the diversification benefits across countries, it is also important to diversify across many asset classes such as small caps, mid caps, large caps, bonds, treasuries, etc. The following chart from Schwab shows how different assets have performed over the years since 2008 and how a diversified portfolio can help smooth out a portfolio returns:

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Source: Morningstar Direct and the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Data is from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2017. Asset class performance represented by annual total returns for the following indexes: S&P 500® Index (U.S. Lg Cap), Russell 2000® Index (U.S. Sm Cap), MSCI EAFE® net of taxes (Int’l Dev), MSCI Emerging Markets IndexSM (EM), S&P United States REIT Index and S&P Global Ex-U.S. REIT Index (REITs), S&P GSCI® (Commodities), Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protection Securities (TIPS) Index, Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (Core Bonds), Bloomberg Barclays U.S. VLI High Yield TR Index (High Yld Bonds), Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Ex-USD TR Index (Int’l Dev Bonds), Bloomberg Barclays Emerging Markets USD Bond TR Index (EM Bonds), Bloomberg Barclays Short Treasury 1–3 Month Index (T-Bills).

The diversified portfolio is a hypothetical portfolio consisting of 18% S&P 500, 10% Russell 2000, 3% S&P U.S. REIT, 12% MSCI EAFE, 8%, MSCI EAFE Small Cap, 8% MSCI EM, 2% S&P Global Ex-U.S. REIT, 1% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury, 1% Bloomberg Barclays Agency, 6% Bloomberg Barclays Securitized, 2% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Credit, 4% Bloomberg Barclays Global Agg Ex-USD, 9% Bloomberg Barclays VLI High Yield, 6% Bloomberg Barclays EM, 2% S&P GCSI Precious Metals, 1% S&P GSCI Energy, 1% S&P GSCI Industrial Metals, 1% S&P GSCI Agricultural, 5% Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury 3¬–7 Yr. Including fees and expenses in the diversified portfolio would lower returns. The portfolio is rebalanced annually. Returns include reinvestment of dividends, interest and capital gains. Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested in directly. Past performance is no indication of future results Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.

Source: Why Global Diversification Matters by Anthony Davidow, Charles Schwab

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