Chart: The Historical Returns by Asset Class Over the Last Decade
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The Historical Returns by Asset Class Over the Last Decade

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The Historical Returns by Asset Class Over the Last Decade

The Historical Returns by Asset Class Over the Last Decade

Recently, we’ve looked at different crisis events through history, and the returns by asset classes for each period of time.

Today’s chart is more general and breaks down performance over the last decade. It’s sorted by different baskets of assets such as bonds, commodities, gold, stocks, real estate, and emerging markets. Note that the chart uses indices that serve as a proxy for specific asset classes. For example, the Bloomberg Commodities Index acts as a broad representation of the performance of all commodities in different sectors. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see a legend that gives a description for each item on the chart.

There are a few lessons worth noting here. First, despite gold having a difficult last few years, it is actually the best performing asset class over the last decade, returning 10.0% annualized. Gold was also the #1 or #2 performer for five of seven years straight between 2005 and 2011. It just goes to show the intensity of bull and bear markets in the metal, and reinforces the fact that it takes multiple years to cool down that momentum before the next upswing may start.

Next, the importance of diversification is almost self-evident. Stocks in emerging markets, for example, just crush other assets in the good years. In the bad years, they are the worst performing assets on the chart. Imagine having a portfolio of just stocks in emerging markets, and you have a financial roller coaster that would make any investor queasy.

Lastly, outside of highly-leveraged Wall Street traders, most investors consider bonds to be quite boring. In the last decade, returns of the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index have ranged between -2.0% and 7.8%. Bonds are typically considered a relatively consistent and less volatile asset class, which help create a baseline for a portfolio. However, on this chart, bonds are all over the map because it is the other investments that are swinging with volatility. In the 2008 crisis, bonds were actually the best performing class with a 5.2% return.

To be fair, there is much speculation of a bond bubble lately, so bonds may not be boring for long.

Returns by asset class chart legend:

  • REITs: Real estate investment trusts, a proxy for property and real estate.
  • MSCI EmMkts: Index tracking 838 companies in 23 emerging markets countries.
  • MSCI EAFE: Measures performance in Europe, Australasia, and Far East. Essentially a barometer for equity performance outside of the US and Canada.
  • Russell 2000: Index tracking 2000 smallcap equities in the United States.
  • S&P 400: The S&P Midcap 400 is a benchmark for midcap companies in the United States.
  • S&P 500: The S&P 500, one of the most commonly followed indices, covers a diverse set of 500 large companies with common stock on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges in the US.
  • B’berg Commod: A broadly diversified commodity index tracking the futures of 22 different commodity markets in seven sectors.
  • Mkt Neut HFs: Market-neutral hedge funds seek to avoid forms of market risk by hedging.
  • Gold: The price of gold.
  • Barclays Agg Bond: Broad base index includes treasury securities, government agency bonds, mortgage-backed bonds, corporate bonds, and a small amount of foreign bonds traded in the US.

Original graphic by: Business Insider

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How Gold Royalties Outperform Gold and Mining Stocks

Gold royalty companies shield investors from inflation’s rising expenses, resulting in stronger returns than gold and gold mining companies.

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gold royalty company returns compared to gold and gold mining companies
The following content is sponsored by Gold Royalty
Infographic on gold royalty company returns

How Gold Royalties Outperform Gold and Mining Stocks

Gold and gold mining companies have long provided a diverse option for investors looking for gold-backed returns, however royalty companies have quietly been outperforming both.

While inflation’s recent surge has dampened profits for gold mining companies, royalty companies have remained immune thanks to their unique structure, offering stronger returns in both the short and long term.

After Part One of this series sponsored by Gold Royalty explained exactly how gold royalties avoid rising expenses caused by inflation, Part Two showcases the resulting stronger returns royalty companies can offer.

Comparing Returns

Since the pandemic lows in mid-March of 2020, gold royalty companies have greatly outperformed both gold and gold mining companies, shining especially bright in the past year’s highly inflationary environment.

While gold is up by 9% since the lows, gold mining companies are down by almost 3% over the same time period. On the other hand, gold royalty companies have offered an impressive 33% return for investors.

In the graphic above, you can see how gold royalty and gold mining company returns were closely matched during 2020, but when inflation rose in 2021, royalty companies held strong while mining company returns fell downwards.

 Returns since the pandemic lows
(Mid-March 2020)
Returns of the past four months
(July 8-November 8, 2022)
Gold Royalty Companies33.8%1.7%
Gold9.1%-1.7%
Gold Mining Companies-3.0%-8.6%

Even over the last four months as gold’s price fell by 1.7%, royalty companies managed to squeeze out a positive 1.7% return while gold mining companies dropped by 8.6%.

Gold Royalty Dividends Compared to Gold Mining Companies

Along with more resilient returns, gold royalty companies also offer significantly more stability than gold mining companies when it comes to dividend payouts.

Gold mining companies have highly volatile dividend payouts that are significantly adjusted depending on gold’s price. While this has provided high dividend payouts when gold’s price increases, it also results in huge dividend cuts when gold’s price falls as seen in the chart below.

chart of gold royalty company dividends vs gold mining company dividends

Rather than following gold’s price, royalty companies seek to provide growing stability with their dividend payouts, adjusting them so that shareholders are consistently rewarded.

Over the last 10 years, dividend-paying royalty companies have steadily increased their payouts, offering stability even when gold prices fall.

Why Gold Royalty Companies Outperform During Inflation

Gold has provided investors with the stability of a hard monetary asset for centuries, with mining companies offering a riskier high volatility bet on gold-backed cash flows. However, when gold prices fall or inflation increases operational costs, gold mining companies fall significantly more than the precious metal.

Gold royalty companies manage to avoid inflation’s bite or falling gold prices’ crunch on profit margins as they have no exposure to rising operational expenses like wages and energy fuels while also having a much smaller headcount and lower G&A expenses as a result.

Along with avoiding rising expenses, gold royalty companies still retain exposure to mine expansions and exploration, offering just as much upside as mining companies when projects grow.

Gold Royalty offers inflation-resistant gold exposure with a portfolio of royalties on top-tier mines across the Americas. Click here to find out more about Gold Royalty.

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How Gold Royalties Offer Inflation-Resistant Gold Exposure

As inflation has impacted gold mining company profits, this graphic explains how royalty companies offer inflation-resistant gold exposure.

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The following content is sponsored by Gold Royalty

How Gold Royalties Offer Inflation-Resistant Gold Exposure

As rising inflation has increased the operational expenses of gold mining companies, gold royalty companies have emerged as an inflation-resistant alternative for investors seeking exposure to the precious metal. 

Without exposure to rising wages, fuel, and energy costs, gold royalty companies are able to maintain strong profit margins that are often more than double those of gold mining companies.

This infographic sponsored by Gold Royalty is the first in a two-part series and showcases exactly how royalty companies naturally avoid inflation, along with the superior profit margins that come as a result.

Inflation’s Dampening Effect on Gold Mining Profits

Since mid-2021, inflation has become a constant risk-factor for investors to keep in mind as they manage their portfolio. Every energy fuel has risen in price over the last year alongside wage increases around the world, greatly impacting the expenses of material production and refining.

Gold mining is no exception, and while operational costs have risen, gold’s price has actually decreased slightly over the same time period, further impacting gold mines’ profitability and margins.

CommodityPrice change since the start of 2021
Coal+372%
Gasoline+72%
Diesel+53%
Electricity+24%
Gold-13%

The impact of inflation can’t be understated when it comes to mining operations, which require large amounts of machinery, electricity, and people.

Along with massive haul trucks, bulldozers, and machinery like large-scale grinding units that require diesel and other fuels to operate, refinery operations also consume large amounts of electricity.

How Gold Royalty Companies Avoid Inflation

With no large fleets of vehicles to fuel, refining plants to power, along with significantly smaller headcounts and wage bills, royalty companies barely suffer from rising inflation. Compared to gold mining companies with tens of thousands of employees across the world, gold royalty companies rarely employ more than 50 people. 

Along with this, while royalty companies’ revenue comes from royalty and streaming agreements with mining companies, these agreements are structured to ensure royalty companies face none of the operational expenses (and inflation) that miners do.

This is because royalty agreements calculate royalties (which royalty companies receive) as a percentage of the mine’s top-line revenue rather than from the mine’s final profits after expenses, meaning royalty companies get their cut before operational costs and other expenses are deducted.

The Golden Profit Margins of Royalty Companies

With gold’s price having remained stagnant while inflation has pushed expenses up, gold mining company profit margins have been crunched from both sides while royalty companies have avoided the impact. 

Over the last four quarters, gold mining giant Newmont Goldcorp’s average profit margin declined to 6.6% when compared to the 22.9% average margins of the four quarters prior. On the other hand, royalty company Franco-Nevada’s profit margins increased from 54.8% to 57.3% over the same time periods. 

Without inflation impacting their bottom line, royalty companies have been able to maintain strong financials in a chaotic period for the economy.

In part 2 of this series, we’ll take a closer look at the returns of gold royalty companies, and how exactly they’ve outperformed both gold mining companies and the precious metal itself.

Gold Royalty offers inflation-resistant gold exposure with a portfolio of royalties on top-tier mines across the Americas. Click here to find out more about Gold Royalty.

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