Australia Markets open in 2 hrs 48 mins

Should cash and bonds be part of your investment strategy?

Tristan Harrison
Australian and US currency

Shares are by far my favourite investment class, but should cash and bonds be part of your investment strategy too?

Many investment managers use cash to as a way to protect the portfolio value against market declines and it also provides ammunition for investment managers to buy shares cheaper when share prices drop. 

Bonds are also seen as a defensive asset that can be used to protect against share market declines and interest rate cuts. Two of the most commonly used bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Australia are Vanguard Australian Fixed Interest Index ETF (ASX: VAF) and Vanguard Australian Government Bond Index ETF (ASX: VGB).

Over the ultra-long-term it has been proven that shares are the best performing asset class. iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX: IVV) has been an exceptionally strong investment since the end of the GFC.

If you’re deciding to own cash or bonds as part of your investments you might be saying that you think a market crash is coming, or that you can time the market. I believe that would be a mistake. No-one can know, even if the indications are there. 

Many ‘experts’ have been saying over the past decade that another crash is coming. We’re certainly closer to the next recession than we were five years ago, but there’s nothing to say it will happen next month or next year. The only reason I’d suggest having cash or bonds in your portfolio is a good idea is if you want to reduce overall portfolio volatility. However, I don’t think we should think of volatility as risk per se. It can actually be a good opportunity. 

But, I do think that everyone should keep a solid amount of money on the side as an emergency fund. How much? At least $1,000. Maybe between three months to six months of living expenses. But I don’t think of the emergency fund as an investment. 

Foolish takeaway

Cash and bonds certainly have their place in the financial world, but in terms of generating returns I think it’s best just to have your investment money in your best ideas. Keep enough on the side to let you sleep easily at night.

The post Should cash and bonds be part of your investment strategy? appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

For long-term returns I would much rather invest in great ASX shares like these.

5 Leading ASX Share Ideas For Your Portfolio

Our Motley Fool experts have just released a brand new FREE report, detailing 5 dirt cheap shares that you can buy today.

One stock is an Australian internet darling with a rock solid reputation and an exciting new business line that promises years (or even decades) of growth… while trading at an ultra-low price…

Another is a diversified conglomerate trading near a 52-week low all while offering a 2.8% fully franked yield...

Plus 3 more cheap bets that could position you to profit over the next 12 months!

See for yourself now. Simply click the link below to scoop up your FREE copy and discover all 5 shares. But you will want to hurry – this free report is available for a brief time only.


More reading

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019