Last year ended with most investors despairing at their returns, but fortunes have improved greatly in just three months. Between January 1 and March 31, shares measured by the JSE all share index (Alsi) returned almost 8% and global markets measured by the MSCI all countries world index returned 12.6%. Local bond investors got a healthy 3.8% from the all bond index and global bond investors 2% from the FTSE world global bond index, Morningstar reports. These are the benchmarks for popular unit trust funds and for asset classes that dominate multi-asset funds used by many South Africans for their retirement savings. Morningstar data shows that the more than 350 funds in the most popular multi-asset class, the multi-asset high equity sub-category, returned on average 5.83% for the past quarter — compared to the -4.4% they earned for the quarter to end-December. The past quarter's returns have lifted one-year returns for these funds to an average of 5.92% (-3.39% last quarter) and fiv...

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