How to strike a better balance in an era of lower returns

A balanced investment portfolio of around half in shares and half in bonds has historically served investors well by producing inflation-beating returns while protecting capital to some extent during turbulent times. However, with the outlook for both asset classes looking precarious, this strategy has lost much of its appeal.

Commodities: will it be a strong 2019?

Commodity prices across the spectrum are down at least 20% from their 52-week highs, but could rebound sharply in 2019, if concern over slowing economic growth and the trade war between the US and China lifts.

Investors are backing gold to shine in 2019; but expect further falls for UK shares

Investors are becoming increasingly cautious on the prospects for equity markets, according to findings from two separate surveys.

The pessimistic stance is highlighted first by a survey carried out by Legg Mason, which polled the views of over 16,000 investors globally. When asked to name the one investment they expect to shine more than any other in 2018, gold came out on top (taking 25% of the vote, up from 22% last year).

Nervous investors flock to gold

Uncertainty around Brexit and trade wars has caused a spike in gold buying. Figures from BullionVault show trading in the yellow metal saw a fivefold increase last week (9-13 July).

Users of its website have been net buying an average of 12 kilos of the precious metal per day – some 421 per cent higher than the daily average over the past 12 months.