Skip to main content
Locate usPhone:1300 236 344
Financial adviceFuneral Bonds

Types of investment

Education HUB article

10 minute read

What are asset classes?

When you start looking into investing, you will see a lot of different terms being used. You may commonly see the term ‘asset classes’ which can be further broken down into income assets and growth assets. We explain what they mean below.

Income Assets (also known as defensive assets)      

Cash, bonds and mortgage securities are considered income assets. They typically deliver returns in the form of income (i.e. pay regular income or interest payments to you).

Income assets are generally more stable and may feature:

  • Typically lower returns than growth assets.
  • Generally less fluctuations in returns over the short-term when compared with growth assets.

Returns are generally lower than growth assets over the medium to long-term, balanced with lower risk.

Growth Assets

Shares and property are classified as growth assets. Over time they generally provide returns in the form of capital growth.

Growth assets can be considered higher in risk and may feature:

  • Capital growth over the long-term with some income.
  • Fluctuating returns generally over the short-term, levelling out over the long-term.
  • The potential to produce higher returns compared to other asset classes, balanced with higher risk.


Asset classes explained in more detail

The five main asset classes are:


Includes bank accounts and term deposits and may include higher interest paying securities. Generally, provides a regular income stream and is the lowest risk of all asset classes.

Fixed interest (bonds)

Bonds have low to medium risk, provide a reliable income stream and potential for some capital growth. Bonds can be issued by a corporation, bank or government body in return for cash. Typically for short to medium-term investors. They usually offer a higher return than cash investments.

Mortgage securities

Generally have a low to medium risk and provide a reliable income stream. They usually offer a higher return than cash investments.

Australian and international shares

Potential for higher returns and capital growth compared to other assets. Typically, higher in risk and suitable for long-term investors.


Includes property, property trusts and other securities across residential, commercial, retail and industrial property investments. Returns may include regular income and capital growth. Generally, a lower risk growth asset than shares, but riskier than cash and bonds. Typically suited for medium to long-term investors.


Typically, a managed fund will be made up of a combination of income and growth assets. The combination will be different depending on the investment style it is catering to. For example, a conservative style of managed fund will be made up of a higher combination of income assets compared to growth assets. Vice versa for a growth/high growth investment style.

Ready to invest? Check out our range of Managed Funds.

Read next

Crowd of pedestrians cross the road

Where do I start?

10 minute read

Investing can help you reach your financial goals sooner but can be overwhelming sometimes. We’re here to help simplify the process and help you get started.

Looking down at table with man and woman talking

Why invest in a managed fund

10 minute read

A managed fund is a professionally managed investment portfolio that pools your money together with the money of multiple investors. An Investment Manager then buys and sells shares or other assets (property, cash, bonds etc) on your behalf.

Man sitting at table with computer

Risk vs return

15 minute read

All investments carry risk – even investing in cash. Market conditions, inflation, changes to interest rates and economic downturns can all have an impact on your investment.

Sandhurst Trustees Limited ABN 16 004 030 737 AFSL 237906 (Sandhurst) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL 237879. Each of these companies receive remuneration on the issue of the product or service they provide. Sandhurst is the responsible entity and issuer of the managed funds available on this website, and is also the trustee and issuer of the Bendigo superannuation products. Investments in these products are not deposits with, guaranteed by, or liabilities of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and are subject to normal investment risk, including possible delays in repayment and loss of income and capital invested. Before making an investment decision in relation to one of these products you should consider your situation and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available on this site.

Sandhurst is the issuer of the commercial lending products and the provider of any traditional trustee services available on this website. The Bendigo Funeral Bond (“the Bond”) is an investment product issued by Australian Friendly Society Limited (“the Society”), ABN 29 087 648 851 AFSL 247028, with benefits provided by the Society’s Funeral Benefit Fund established under Schedule 1, Rule E of its constitution and administered by Sandhurst. The Travel Protection Plan is issued by AIA Australia Limited ABN 79 004 837 861 AFSL 230043. The Society is associated with the Bank and its related entities. Neither the Bank nor any of its related entities guarantee the repayment of capital invested or the investment performance of the Bond. Information is correct at the date of this document and is subject to change.

The content on this website has been jointly prepared by Sandhurst and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and contains general advice only. Advice in relation to superannuation and managed investment schemes is provided by Sandhurst and advice in relation to life risk insurance is provided by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. It is provided as general information and must not be relied upon as a substitute for financial planning, legal, tax or other professional advice. The information is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. Neither Sandhurst nor the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank give any warranty for the reliability or accuracy or accept any responsibility arising in any way, including by reason of negligence for errors or omissions for the information contained on this website. The information contained on this website is subject to change without notice. Neither Sandhurst nor the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has an obligation to update, modify or amend this website or notify you in the event that a matter of opinion or projection stated changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

Neither Sandhurst nor Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is responsible for the content of any other site accessed via this site. That information is the responsibility of the site owner. Links to other sites are provided for convenience only and do not represent any endorsement by Sandhurst or the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank of the products offered by the site owner.

Refer to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank terms of use for information that governs this website.

Financial Services Guide

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

© Copyright 2021 Bendigo and Adelaide Bank