By Max Clarke

Gold and silver have again emerged as the most attractive investments, yielding a mean 4.9% return on investment for the past 10 years.

Continued uncertainty in other areas of investment, from a sluggish housing market to the ongoing Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, have steered investors towards precious metals.

Commodities emerged as the second most profitable investment, aided by soaring prices of oil and wheat, according to Lloyds TSB’s bi-annual assetwatch publication.

"Precious metals continue to provide the best returns for investors against a backdrop of continued anxiety over the prospects for global economic growth and concerns over Eurozone sovereign debt risk and high inflation,” commented Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB economist. “Precious metals have benefited from lower interest rates over recent years as well as their position as a hedge against inflation and financial market uncertainty.”

Silver in particular saw the biggest gains, despite Gold prices hitting record highs both today and in February following unrest in Libya. Prices for silver jumped 14% this year alone yielding investors significant returns, whilst those for platinum actually fell.

"The prospects for asset prices over the remainder of 2011 are likely to be driven in part by the level of demand from China and India. The extent to which higher commodity prices and fiscal austerity measures affect the global economic recovery will also be important factors," continued Thiru.


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