We duplicate here the outcome of a study in Australia which was reported on www.news.com.au
Investors should be devoting at least 20 per cent of their investment portfolio to direct property assets in the retail, office and industrial sectors, a study shows.
The study commissioned by the Australian Direct Property Investment Association (ADPIA) found increasing the direct, or commercial, property component in an investment portfolio significantly reduced risk and the chance of investment loss.
The research looked at the performance of 11 different asset classes over 10 and 20 year periods, such as local and overseas shares, residential and listed property, Australian fixed interest and cash, and managed funds.
"ADPIA's view is we should have at least 20 per cent in direct property," ADPIA immediate past-president and executive committee member Richard Cutler said.
Mr Cutler, who also heads up Macquarie Bank's Direct Property division, said there was a very significant mismatch between the findings and what was happening in the market, with the allocation to commercial property from investors and their advisers declining since the 1980s.
"It (property) is the financial wealth of the world and ... we've got a very low and decreasing allocation to it," he said.
"So common sense says we've got it back to front and this research will really flesh that out."
Atchison Consultants managing director Ken Atchison, who carried out the study for ADPIA, said the decline was caused by a lack of available research, as well as behavioural finance.
"A market goes bad and everybody withdraws – that's the time when you should invest ... it's a classical psychological reaction," Mr Atchison said.
Investment in direct property peaked in the property boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He said the research showed direct property provided strong total returns of 9.5 per cent in the 20 years to June 30, 2006, and 10.5 per cent over the 10-year period, with industrial and retail assets the best performers.
In the 10 years to June 30, direct property also produced the highest levels of income return of any other asset class, at 7.2 per cent, the report found.
According to the study, the asset class also exhibited the lowest volatility of income returns over both periods, a valuable characteristic that made a significant difference to long-term returns because it reduced the chance of making a timing error entering or exiting the market, Mr Atchison said.
He said a fully diversified property portfolio should be made up of "four states, three sectors", being NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, and across the office, retail and industrial sectors.
ADPIA represents property industry professionals such as fund managers, custodians and financiers and was set up as the peak industry body in 1999.Note from GV : For investment advice in Fiji, contact our company, Gilbert & Samuels Company Limited, on e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephones +679 3396427 or +679 9921427. Our principal, Gilbert Veisamasama Jr, is an investment adviser licensed by the Capital Markets Development Authority of Fiji - Fiji's capital markets regulator.