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Staying a step ahead of the markets

As the global economy slowly recovers its confidence and momentum, the hunt for investments which will generate alpha returns will dominate the markets, says Rebecca Hughes

2 October 2014

Since the crisis lows of March 2009, simply capturing market returns (beta) would have been ample return for even the most demanding of investors.

This is unlikely to be the case in the years ahead, and a greater emphasis on 'alpha' generation (above benchmark returns) will be needed. Short of having a crystal ball to tell us when that will happen and how, how can we create a portfolio for that future?

Within equities, returns can be enhanced by focussing on markets where there is evidence of consistent alpha generation over a period of time. Emerging markets and smaller companies may be particularly interesting in this regard, but valuations will remain as crucial a factor as ever.

Real estate, particularly UK commercial property, is another area that we see generating solid above-inflation income, with good potential for capital gains at reasonable valuations and with a low corr...

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