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The five best performing asset classes since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
An iconic picture of staff in Lehman Brothers, the day it collapsed. Photo: Reuters

When Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy on 15 September a decade ago, it sent shockwaves across the financial industry, helping lead the global economy into a spiral of pain.

At the time, it was hard to see how markets would recover from this defining moment of the global financial crash. All the best performing asset classes were collapsing, including government bonds, corporate bonds, and emerging market debt.

As the Fidelity International (FFIDX) chart below shows, a wide range of markets were riding the volatility rollercoaster and it was hard to pin down where was the least risky place to put your money.

Chart: Fidelity International, September 2018. Total return in GBP up to 31.08.2018.

However, as Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International said in a statement: “The main conclusion is that diversification works. Trying to predict the best-performing asset class year in year out is a fool’s errand.

“Indeed, over the last decade, no asset class has managed to hold onto its title of being the best performer over consecutive years, while the best performing asset has fallen out of the top five the following year on seven occasions.”

Another chart provided by Stevenson and his team at Fidelity rounded up the top five performing asset classes since 15 September 2008:

Chart: Fidelity International, September 2018. Total return in GBP from 16.09.2008-31.08.2018.