Generally, asset classes can be grouped as Growth or Defensive.
Growth assets – Like shares and property securities, are mostly used to provide capital growth in a Portfolio. They’re higher risk than Defensive assets, but usually provide higher returns over the long term.
Defensive assets – Like cash and fixed income, are generally included in a Portfolio to help stabilise returns, as income is often a big part of the return from these assets. Defensive assets usually provide lower risk and lower returns over the long term.