December was a quiet month overall. There certainly wasn’t much of a Santa Claus rally for stocks. The best performing asset class over the month was US real estate (as measure by the MSCI US REIT) which gained 4.8 per cent. The worst performer in December, by far, was gold, losing over 10 per cent.
Overall, the best performing asset class in 2011 was Inflation-Indexed US Treasuries, rising 13.3 per cent over the past twelve months. Despite big falls over the past couple of months gold was still the next best asset class, returning nearly 10 per cent in 2011.
The worst asset class performer in 2011 was emerging markets, falling by 18.8 per cent. Other big fallers were commodities, down 14 per cent, and foreign developed stocks, down 12.3 per cent.