Australian investors have had some attractive returns from the sharemarket in the last couple of years. The ASX 200 has managed total returns of roughly 20% in both calendar 2012 and 2013. Better still, high-yielding blue-chips - such as bank stocks - have managed up to 30% in total returns, but concerns are mounting in the market that it may be difficult to extend these type of gains much further. It may be time to consider some less volatile investments and alternative sources of income.
Shares have performed strongly since 2008. In particular bank shares, listed property and other large cap shares have done well since 2012 (see chart 1).