A very different take on global diversification is being offered by Ashburton Investments. The investment manager listed its World Government Bond ETF this year to offer cheaper direct access to the international bond market.Bonds are popular for being a lower-risk asset that helps investors add a more defensive flavour to their portfolio. And what could be more dependable than bonds issued by growing, developed economy governments?That dependability, however, comes at a price: yields far lower than SA inflation. This means that investors are at the mercy of the rand, which would have to continue weakening against global currencies if investors in this fund are to come out even. And, generally speaking, that should be the case. Except that the rand is notoriously unstable. And even the dollar has been doing a bit of a yo-yo impersonation this year. It has been strengthening, though, which supports the conviction of Ashburton’s Nikolay Mladenov that it’s a sound diversification tool....

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