There's no way to accurately answer this question without understanding the person answering it, and the context of the question.
There are some concepts that may help offer some perspective on the financial markets.
Which investment will perform the best in the short term is always going to be anyone's guess Different financial pundits apply different types of research and analysis and may come up with two totally different results in terms of which investment is going to perform best over a certain period. You may have seen the caveat on different types of investments that states "past performance is not an indicator of future results". This is an admission that even though an investment has performed well over a certain period and may have outperformed its peers or other investment categories, there's no guarantee that any trend will continue. The conventional approach to investing focuses on identifying securities that are underpriced, and to develop forecasting to select undervalued securities or time the investment transactions. This approach generates highes trading costs and can increase risk.
There has been some academic research that presents some of the key drivers of expected returns - meaning, the elements of investments that, over time, you can expect to be get better returns.
- Stocks will outperform bonds
- Small cap stocks will outperform large cap stocks (but generally with more risk)
- Value oriented stocks will outperform growth oriented stocks
- Stocks with higher levels of profitabiltiy will outperform those with lower levels of profitability.
So when it comes to considering the best short term investments, it's really a roll of the dice. From picking a certain stock, to picking a category of stock (ex large cap vs small cap vs emerging market, etc) to picking a particular investment allocation category (equities, fixed income, commodities, etc), whether one is going to go up or down in the short-term is anyone's guess. Unless someone has money that is purely discretionary, it is always best to start with an investment plan that considers one's spending needs, goals, and risk tolerance.
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