Belgium is one of the rare countries in the world where property has proven in the long term (measuring from 1900 inwards), to be more profitable than shares. Those who at the beginning of the last century invested one euro in a Belgian house have seen its value multiply by 309 times. De Tijd reports that an investment in shares would have, during the same period, yielded 23 times its base value. De Tijd’s figures are based upon a study by Crédit Suisse which concerns long-term share yields.
Only Austria and Italy have seen their shares do “worse” over the same period. The reasons are the major consequences of the World Wars on Belgian industry, as well as inflation. That having been said, shares are doing better than bonds (with a purchasing power multiplied by a factor of 1.7) or cash (the value of the original euro might only equate to 70 cents now).
On a global scale, shares remain, by far, the most profitable asset using such a comparison.